Wednesday, November 7, 2007



This Book
Poor and Proud.
Bobby Bright and Harry West, whose histories were contained in
the last two volumes of the "Library for Young Folks," were both
smart boys. The author, very grateful for the genial welcome
extended to these young gentlemen, begs leave to introduce to his
juvenile friends a smart girl,--Miss Katy Redburn,-- whose
fortunes, he hopes, will prove sufficiently interesting to secure
their attention.
If any of my adult readers are disposed to accuse me of being a
little extravagant, I fear I shall have to let the case go by
default; but I shall plead, in extenuation, that I have tried to
be reasonable, even where a few grains of the romantic element
were introduced; for Baron Munchausen and Sindbad the Sailor were
standard works on my shelf in boyhood, and I may possibly have
imbibed some of their peculiar spirit. But I feel a lively
satisfaction in the reflection that, whatever exaggerations the
critic may decide I have perpetrated in this volume, I have made
the success of Katy Redburn depend upon her good principles, her
politeness, her determined perseverance, and her overcoming that
foolish pride which is a snare to the feet. In these respects she
is a worthy exemplar for the young.
Pride and poverty do not seem to agree with each other; but there
is a pride which is not irreconcilable with the humblest station.
This pride of character finds an illustration in the life of my
Thanking my young friends again for the pleasant reception given
to my former books I submit this volume in the hope that Katy
Redburn will prove to be a worthy and agreeable companion for
their leisure hours. WILLIAM T. ADAMS.
DORCHESTER, Sept. 29, 1858.
I. Katy Redburn and Others Are Introduced
II. The History of the Silver Watch
III. Katy and Master Simon Sneed Visit the Pawnbroker's Shop
IV. Katy Matures a Magnificent Scheme
V. Katy Visits Mrs. Gordon, and Gets Rid of Dr. Flynch
VI. Katy Prepares a Stock of Merchandise
VII. Katy Makes a Large Sale
VIII. Katy Sells Out, and Visits the Mayor
IX. Katy talks with the Mayor, and Recovers the Watch
X. Katy, in Distress, finds a Champion
XI. Katy Meets with Extraordinary Success
XII. Katy Pays Her Debts, and Tommy Goes to Sea
XIII. Katy Employs an Assistant
XIV. Master Simon Sneed Makes a Mistake
XV. Katy Gets a Letter from Liverpool
XVI. Ann Grippen Plays Tricks upon Travelers
XVII. The Sun Sets, and the Night Comes On
XVIII. Katy Struggles Bravely through a Series of Trials
XIX. Katy Resorts to a Loan
XX. Mrs. Gordon Feels Faint, and Katy Enters a New Sphere
XXI. Katy Goes to Church, and Has a Birthday Party
"Give me a flounder, Johnny?" said a little girl of eleven,
dressed in coarse and ragged garments, as she stooped down and
looked into the basket of the dirty young fisherman, who sat with
his legs hanging over the edge of the pier.
"I'll bet I won't," replied Johnny, gruffly, as he drew the
basket out of the reach of the supplicant. "You needn't come
round here tryin' to hook my fish."
"You hooked 'em," said another juvenile angler who sat on the
capsill of the pier by Johnny's side.
"Who says I hooked 'em?" blustered Johnny, whose little dirty
paws involuntarily assumed the form of a pair of fists,
scientifically disposed and ready to be the instruments of the
owner's vengeance upon the traducer of his character.
"I say so," added Tommy Howard, who did not seem to be at all
alarmed at the warlike attitude of his fellow-angler.
"Say it again, and I'll smash your head," continued Johnny,
jumping up from his seat.
"Didn't you hear me? Once is enough."
Tommy coolly hauled up a large flounder at that moment, and threw
the fish into his basket. It was rather refreshing to see how
regardless he was of that pair of menacing fists.
"Jest you say that once more, and see what I'll do," persisted
"I won't do it."
"You dasn't say it again."
"Perhaps I dasn't; at any rate, I shan't."
"Do you mean to say I hooked them fish?" exclaimed Johnny,
desperately, for it seemed as though he must do something to
vindicate his injured honor.
"That's just what I did say."
But Tommy was so confoundedly cool that his fellow-angler had
some doubts about the expediency of "pitching into him." Probably
a vision of defeat flashed through his excited brain and
discretion seemed the better part of valor. Yet he was not
disposed to abandon his position, and advanced a pace or two
toward his provoking companion; a movement which, to an
unpracticed eye, would indicate a purpose to do something.
"Don't fight, Tommy," said the little ragged girl.
"I don't mean to fight, Katy,"--Johnny, at these words, assumed
an artistic attitude, ready to strike the first blow,--"only if
Johnny hits me, I shall knock him into the middle of next week."
Johnny did not strike. He was a prudent young man.
"Don't fight, Johnny," repeated the girl, turning to the excited
aspirant for the honors of the ring.
"Do you suppose I'll let him tell me I hooked them fish?"
blustered Johnny.
"He didn't mean anything."
"Yes, I did," interposed Tommy. "He caught 'em on a hook; so of
course he hooked em. I hooked mine too."
"Is that what you meant?" asked Johnny, a broad grin
overspreading his dirty face, and his fists suddenly expanding
into dirty paws again.
"That's just what I meant; and your skull is as thick as a
two-inch plank, or you would have seen what I meant."
"I see now."
Johnny was not disposed to resent this last insinuation about the
solidity of his cranium. He was evidently too glad to get out of
the scrape without a broken head or a bloody nose. Johnny was a
bully, and he had a bully's reputation to maintain; but he never
fought when the odds were against him; and he had a congressman's
skill in backing out before the water got too hot. On the whole,
he rather enjoyed the pun; and he had the condescension to laugh
heartily, though somewhat unnaturally, at the jest.
"Will you give me a flounder, Tommy?" said the little ragged
girl, as she glanced into his well-filled basket.
"What do you want of him, Katy?" asked Tommy turning round and
gazing up into her sad, pale face.
Katy hesitated; her bosom heaved, and her lips compressed, as
though she feared to answer the question.
"To eat," she replied, at last, in a husky tone.
"What's the matter, Katy?"
The face of the child seemed to wear a load of care and anxiety,
and as the young fisherman gazed a tear started from her eye, and
slid down her cheek. Tommy's heart melted as he saw this
exhibition of sorrow. He wondered what could ail her.
"My mother is sick," replied Katy, dashing away the tell-tale
"I know that; but what do you want of flounders?"
"We have nothing to eat now," said Katy, bursting into tears.
"Mother has not been able to do any work for more than three
months: and we haven't got any money now. It's all gone. I
haven't had any breakfast to-day."
"Take 'em all, Katy!" exclaimed Tommy, jumping up from his seat
on the capsill of the pier. "How will you carry them? Here, I
will string 'em for you."
Tommy was all energy now, and thrust his hands down into the
depths of his pockets in search of a piece of twine. Those
repositories of small stores did not contain a string, however;
but mixed up with a piece of cord, a slate pencil, an iron hinge,
two marbles, a brass ring, and six inches of stovepipe chain,
were two cents, which the owner thereof carefully picked out of
the heap of miscellaneous articles and thrust them into the hand
of Katy.
"Here, take them; and as you go by the grocery at the corner of
the court, buy a two-cent roll," whispered he. "Got a bit o'
string, Johnny?" he added aloud, as Katy began to protest against
taking the money.
"Hain't got none; but I'll give you a piece of my fish line, if
you want," replied the bully, who was now unusually obliging.
"There's a piece of spunyarn, that's just the thing I want;" and
Tommy ran half way up the pier to the bridge, picked up the line,
and commenced stringing the flounders on it.
"I don't want them all, Tommy; only give me two or three. I never
shall forget you, Tommy," said Katy, her eyes suffused with tears
of gratitude.
"I'm sorry things go so bad with you, Katy, and I wish I could do
something more for you."
"I don't want anything more. Don't put any more on the string.
There's six. We can't eat any more."
"Well, then, I'll bring you some more to-morrow," replied Tommy,
as he handed her the string of fish. "Stop a minute; here's a
first-rate tom-cod; let me put him on;" and he took the string
and added the fish to his gift.
"I never shall forget you, Tommy; I shall only borrow the two
cents; I will pay you again some time," said she, in a low tone,
so that Johnny could not hear her.
"Never mind 'em, Katy. Don't go hungry again for a minute. Come
to me, and I'll help you to something or other."
"Thank you, Tommy;" and with a lighter heart than she had brought
with her, she hastened up the pier, no doubt anticipating a rich
feast from the string of fish.
The pier of the new South Boston bridge was then, as now, a
favorite resort for juvenile fishermen. Flounders, tom-cod, and
eels, to say nothing of an occasional sculpin, which boys still
persist in calling "crahpies," or "crahooners," used to furnish
abundant sport to a motley group of youngsters wherein the sons
of merchants mingled democratically with the dirty, ragged
children of the "Ten-footers" in the vicinity. The pier was
neutral ground, and Frederic Augustus made a friend of Michael or
Dennis, and probably neither was much damaged by this free
companionship; for Michael or Dennis often proves to be more of a
gentleman in his rags and dirty face than Frederic Augustus in
his broadcloth and white linen.
Katy walked as fast as her little feet would carry her, till she
came to a court leading out of Essex Street. The bells were
ringing for one o'clock as she entered the grocery at the corner
and purchased the two-cent roll which Tommy Howard's bounty
enabled her to add to her feast. Elated with the success of her
mission, she quickened her pace up the court to a run, rushed
into the house and up-stairs to her mother's room with as much
enthusiasm as though she had found a bag of gold, instead of
having obtained a very simple dinner.
"O, mother, I've got a lot of flounders and some bread for you!"
exclaimed she, as she bolted into the room.
"Then you have money," said a cold voice in the chamber; and Katy
perceived, standing near the bed on which her mother lay, a man
who was no stranger to her.
It was Dr. Flynch; but let not my young reader make a mistake. He
was no good Samaritan, who had come to pour oil and wine into the
wounds of the poor sick woman; not even a physician, who had come
to give medicine for a fee, to restore her to health and
strength. It is true he was called a doctor, and he had been a
doctor, but he did not practice the healing art now. If he had
failed to make a physician, it was not because his heart was so
tender that he could not bear to look upon pain and suffering. He
was the agent of Mrs. Gordon, a widow lady, who owned the house
in which Katy's mother lived. He collected her rents, and
transacted all her business; and as far as dollars and cents were
concerned, he had certainly been a faithful servant. Dr. Flynch
was a prudent and discreet man, and did not hurt the feelings of
the good lady who employed him by telling her about the
difficulties he encountered in the discharge of his duty, or by
describing the harsh and even cruel means to which he was
sometimes obliged to resort, in order to obtain the rent of poor
"Mrs. Redburn," said Dr. Flynch, when he had heard the
exclamation of Katy, "you have told me a falsehood. You said you
had no money, not a cent. Where did you get that roll, child?"
"At the store at the corner of the court," replied Katy, abashed
by the cold dignity of the agent.
"Precisely so, Mrs. Redburn; but you do not buy bread without
money. You have attempted to deceive me. I have pitied you up to
the present time, and indulged you in the non-payment of your
rent for over a week I can do so no longer, for you have told me
a falsehood."
"No, sir, I have not," pleaded the sick woman.
"Your child buys bread."
"I did not give her the money."
"Where did you get the money to buy that roll with?" demanded Dr.
Flynch, turning sharply to Katy.
"Tommy Howard gave it to me."
"Who is Tommy Howard?"
"He lives on the other side of the court."
"Very probable that a dirty, ragged boy gave her the money! This
is another false-hood, Mrs. Redburn. I lament that a person in
your situation should have no higher views of Christian morality
than to lie yourself, and teach your child to lie, which is much
The poor woman burst into tears, and protested that she had told
the truth, and nothing but the truth; declaring that Katy was a
good girl, that she had eaten nothing that day, and would not
tell a lie. Dr. Flynch was a man of method, and when a tenant did
not pay the rent, it was his purpose to get rid of that tenant in
the quietest way possible. In the present case there was a
difficulty, and public opinion would not justify him in turning a
sick woman out of the house; but if she lied, had money
concealed, and would not pay her rent, it would alter the matter.
As he wished to believe this was the case, he had no difficulty
in convincing himself, and thus quieting his poor apology for a
Besides being a man of method, Dr. Flynch was a man of upright
walk and conversation; at least, he passed for such with those
who did not know anything about him. If Mrs. Gordon should happen
to hear that he had turned out the sick woman, he could then
inform her how feelingly he had pointed out to her the wickedness
of her conduct, which he thought would sound exceedingly well.
"Mrs. Redburn," he continued, "I will give you till this time
to-morrow to get out of the house; if you are not gone then, I
shall be under the painful necessity of removing your goods into
the street. Good morning;" and Dr. Flynch turned upon his heel,
and walked out of the room.
"My poor child! what will become of us?" sobbed the sick woman,
as she grasped Katy's hand, and pressed it to her bosom with
convulsive energy.
"Don't cry, mother; something can be done. I will go and see Mrs.
Gordon, and beg her to let you stay here."
"You must not do that; Dr. Flynch told me, if I troubled her
about the house, I should not stay in it another minute, even if
I paid the rent."
"He is a bad man, mother; and I don't believe Mrs. Gordon knows
what he does here."
"There is one thing more we can do, Katy," continued Mrs.
Redburn, wiping away her tears, and taking from under her pillow
a heavy silver watch. "This was your father's; but we must sell
it now. It is all we have left."
"I should hate to have that sold, mother."
"We must sell it, or pawn it."
"We will pawn it then."
"How shall we do it? I have not strength to rise, and they will
cheat you if you offer it."
"I will tell you what I can do, mother; I will get Simon Sneed to
go with me to the pawnbroker's shop. He is very kind to me, and I
know he will. He comes home to dinner at two o-clock."
This plan was agreed to, and Katy then went to work to clean and
cook the flounders.
Katy Redburn was only eleven years old, and not a very
accomplished cook; but as the children learn faster in the homes
of the poor than in the dwellings of the rich, she had a very
tolerable idea of the management of a frying-pan. The operation
of cleaning the flounders was the greatest trial, for the skin of
the fish has to be removed. She cut her fingers with the knife,
and scratched and pricked her hands with the sharp bones; but she
was resolute, and finally accomplished the task to her entire
satisfaction. An occasional direction from her mother enabled her
to cook the fish properly, and dinner was ready. There were still
a few small stores left in the closet, and Katy made a cup of tea
for her mother, and with it placed the delicate little flounder
by the side of the bed. The invalid had no appetite, but to
please Katy she ate a portion of the fish and bread though it was
very hard work for her to do so. The little girl, gladdened by
this unwonted sight, made a hearty meal, without a thought of the
trials and sorrows which the future might have in store for them.
When she had put away the dishes, and placed everything in order,
she washed herself, combed her hair, sewed up a great rent in her
dress, and otherwise attempted to make herself as tidy as
possible for the mission she was about to undertake.
"It is not time for you to go yet, Katy; and before the watch is
carried off, I want to tell you something about your father, that
you may learn to prize it as I do."
Katy seated herself on the side of the bed, for she was very
anxious to hear more about her father than she already knew. She
had often asked her mother about him, but she had generally
evaded her questions, and did not seem willing to tell her all
she knew. She thought there was some secret connected with his
history, and with a child's curiosity she was eager to have the
mystery unfolded. But it was no great secret, after all only a
painful history, which her sensitive mother did not like to
rehearse. Mrs. Redburn handed the watch to Katy, and asked her to
look upon the back of it.
"Yes, mother, I have often seen those words on there--`All for
the Best.' What do they mean?" said Katy.
"This watch was given to your father by my father," replied Mrs.
Redburn, with a deep sigh, for the words seemed to recall happy
memories of the past.
"Who was your father?" asked the attentive little girl.
"His name was Matthew Guthrie. He was a merchant in Liverpool,
England, where I was born."
"A merchant, mother? Then he was a rich man, and lived in a great
house, and had plenty of servants."
"He was rich, and lived in good style. One day there came a young
man in great distress to his counting-room. He was a clerk, and
had been sent by his employer in Manchester to pay a large sum of
money to my father. After leaving the train, he had entered an
ale-house, where he had been robbed of the remittance. He had
been imprudent, but instead of running away, he went directly to
my father, and informed him of his misfortune. The young man felt
that he was ruined, but he said he was determined not to leave
Liverpool till he had found the money. He was sure he knew the
man who had robbed him, and my father procured the services of
several policemen to assist him in his search. All that day and
all that night, attended by policemen, he visited the resorts of
vice and crime, and his perseverance was rewarded with success.
He found the man, and the money was recovered. My father was so
well pleased with the energy of the young man, that he gave him a
situation in his counting room. That young man was John Redburn,
your father. My father gave him a much larger salary than he had
been receiving before, so that his misfortune in losing the money
proved to be a piece of good fortune to him, for it procured him
a much better situation. The new clerk performed his duties very
faithfully, and at the end of a year my father presented him this
watch, with the motto, `All for the Best,' in allusion to the
manner in which he had obtained his situation."
"But how came you here, mother, if your father was rich, and
lived in a fine house? You are very poor now;" asked Katy, who
feared that the mystery was yet to come.
Mrs. Redburn burst into tears, and covered her face with her
hands, as the pleasant memories of her former happy home rushed
through her mind.
"Don't cry, mother; I won't ask you any more questions," said
Katy, grieved to find she had reminded her mother of some
unpleasant thing.
"It was all my own fault, Katy. I am here poor and wretched,
because I disobeyed my father; because I did what he desired me
not to do. I will tell you all about it, Katy. I became
acquainted with the new clerk, John Redburn, and the result of
our acquaintance was, that we were married in about a year. We
ran away from home; for my father, however much he liked John as
a clerk, was not willing that he should be my husband. He forbade
John's coming to our house, and forbade my seeing him. I
disobeyed him. We were married, and John was discharged. My
father refused to see me again."
"That was cruel," interposed Katy
"My father was right, and I have always regretted that I
disobeyed him. We came to America, and your father procured a
situation in New York, where you were born, about a year after we
arrived. For three years we got along very well. I wish I could
stop here, Katy, for the rest of the story is very sad."
"Don't tell me any more, mother, it makes you feel so bad, I
would rather not hear it. I know now why you value the watch so
much, and I hope we shall be able to get it back again."
"I fear not. But you must hear the rest of this sad story."
Mrs. Redburn continued the narrative, though tears blinded her
eyes, and sobs chocked her utterance, as she told of the struggle
she had had with poverty and want. Her husband had done very well
in New York; and, gay and light-hearted in the midst of his
prosperity, his habits had been gradually growing worse and
worse, till he lost his situation, and became a common sot. The
poor wife had then been compelled to toil for her own support and
that of her child; and having been brought up in luxury and ease,
it was a dreadful task to her.
John obtained another situation, but soon lost it. He was a
good-hearted man when he had not been drinking, and keenly felt
the disgrace and misery he was heaping upon himself and his
unhappy wife. Once he had the resolution to abandon the cup,
fully determined to redeem his lost character, and make his
family happy again. The better to accomplish this, he removed to
Boston, where he obtained a good situation, and for more than a
year he adhered to his resolution. Mrs. Redburn was happy again
and tremblingly hoped that the clouds of darkness had forever
passed away.
The evil time came again, and John Redburn sank down lower than
ever before. His wife lost all hope of him, and struggled, with
the courage of a hero and the fortitude of a martyr, against the
adverse tide that set against her. She was fortunate in obtaining
plenty of sewing, and was able to support herself and child very
well; but her husband, now lost to all sense of decency,
contrived to obtain, from time to time, a portion of her hard
earnings. She could never have believed that John Redburn would
come to this; for, as a clerk in her father's counting room, he
had been all that was good and noble; but there he was a
miserable sot, lost to himself, to his family, and the world.
One morning in winter he was brought home to her dead. He had
died in the watch-house of delirium tremens. He was buried, and
peace, if not hope, settled on the brow of the broken-hearted
Year after year Mrs. Redburn struggled on, often with feeble
hands and fainting heart, to earn a subsistence for herself and
Katy. She had been bred in opulence, and her wants were not so
few and simple as the wants of those who have never enjoyed the
luxury of a soft couch and a well-supplied table. She had never
learned that calculating economy which provides a great deal with
very small means.
Hence it was much harder for her to support herself and child,
than it would have been for one who had been brought up in a
She had done very well, however, until, a few months before our
story opens, she had been taken sick, and was no longer able to
work. Her disease was an affection of the spine, which was at
times very painful, and confined her to the bed.
"But where is your father now?" asked Katy, when her mother had
finished the narrative.
"I do not know; if he is alive, he probably lives in Liverpool."
"Why don't you write a letter to him?"
"I have done so several times, but have never received any reply.
I wrote shortly after your father died, giving an account of my
situation. I am sure my father never could have got my letter, or
he would have answered me. I know he would not let me suffer here
in woe and want, if he were aware of my condition."
"Why don't you write again?"
"It is useless."
"Let me write, mother. I will call him dear grandfather, and I am
sure he will send you some money then: perhaps he will send for
us to go to Liverpool, and live in his great house, and have
servants to wait upon us."
"Alas, my child, I have given up all hope of ever seeing him
again in this world. In my letters I confessed my fault, and
begged his forgiveness. He cannot be alive, or I am sure my last
letters would have melted his heart."
"Haven't you any brothers and sisters, mother?"
"I had one sister; and I have written several letters to her, but
with no better success. They may be all dead. I fear they are."
"And your mother?"
"She died when I was young. I know Jane would have answered my
letters if she had received them."
"She was your sister?"
"Yes; she must be dead; and I suppose my father's property must
be in the hands of strangers, covering their floors with soft
carpets, and their tables with nice food, while I lie here in
misery, and my poor child actually suffers from hunger;" and the
afflicted mother clasped her daughter in her arms, and wept as
though her heart would burst.
"Don't cry, mother. I was not very hungry. We have had enough to
eat till to-day. I am going to take care of you now, you have
taken care of me so long," replied Katy, as she wiped away the
tears that flowed down her mother's wan cheek.
"What can you do, poor child?"
"I can do a great many things; I am sure I can earn money enough
to support us both."
"It is hard to think how much I have suffered, and how much of
woe there may be in the future for me," sobbed Mrs. Redburn.
"Don't cry, mother. You know what it says on the watch--`All for
the Best.' Who knows but that all your sorrows are for the best?"
"I hope they are; I will try to think they are. But it is time
for you to go. Pawn the watch for as much as you can; and I trust
that some fortunate event will enable us to redeem it."
Katy took the watch, smoothed down her hair again, put on her
worn-out bonnet, and left the house.
The court in which Katy lived had once been the abode of many
very respectable families, to use a popular word, for respectable
does not always mean worthy of respect on account of one's
virtues, but worthy of respect on account of one's lands, houses,
and money. In the former sense it was still occupied by very
respectable families, though none of them possessed much of the
"goods that perish in the using" Mrs. Redburn, the seamstress,
was very respectable; Mrs. Colvin, the washer-woman, was very
respectable, so were Mrs. Howard, the tailoress, Mr. Brown, the
lumper, and Mr. Sneed, the mason.
Katy's mother lived in a small house, with three other families.
She occupied two rooms, for which she paid four dollars a month,
the amount of rent now due and unpaid. Dr. Flynch took a great
deal of pleasure in telling Mrs. Redburn how his humanity and his
regard for the welfare of the poor had induced him to fix the
rent at so cheap a rate; but he always finished by assuring her
that this sum must be promptly paid, and that no excuses could
ever have any weight.
The next house to Mrs. Redburn was tenanted by Mr. Sneed, the
mason. I don't know whether I ought to say that Mr. Sneed had a
son, or that Master Simon Sneed had a father, being at a loss to
determine which was the more important personage of the two; but
I am not going to say anything against either of them, for the
father was a very honest mason and the son was a very nice young
Katy knocked at the door of this house, and inquired for Master
Simon Sneed. She was informed that he had not yet finished his
dinner; and she decided to wait in the court till he made his
appearance. Seating herself on the door stone, she permitted her
mind to wander back to the narrative her mother had related to
her. She glanced at her coarse clothes, and could hardly believe
that her grandfather was a rich merchant, and lived in a fine
house. How nice it would be if she could only find the old
gentleman! He could not be cross to her; he would give her all
the money she could spend, and make a great lady of her.
"Pooh! what a fool I am to think of such a thing!" exclaimed she
impatiently, as she rose from the door stone. "I am a beggar, and
what right have I to think of being a fine lady, while my poor
sick mother has nothing to eat and drink? It is very hard to be
so poor, but I suppose it is all for the best."
"Do you want me, Katy?" said a voice from the door, which Katy
recognized as that of Master Simon Sneed.
"I want to see you very much," replied Katy.
"Wait a moment, and I will join you."
And in a moment Master Simon Sneed did join her; but he is so
much of a curiosity, and so much of a character, that I must stop
to tell my young readers all about him.
Master Simon Sneed was about fifteen years old, and tall enough
to have been two years older. He was very slim, and held his head
very straight. In 1843, the period of which I write, it was the
fashion for gentlemen to wear straps upon their pantaloons; and
accordingly Master Simon Sneed wore straps on his pantaloons,
though, it is true, the boys in the street used to laugh and hoot
at him for doing so; but they were very ill-mannered boys, and
could not appreciate the dignity of him they insulted.
Master Sneed's garments were not of the finest materials, but
though he was a juvenile dandy, it was evident that it required a
great deal of personal labor to make him such.
Clearly those straps were sewed on by himself, and clearly those
cowhide shoes had been thus elaborately polished by no other
hands than his own. In a word, the appearance of his clothes,
coarse as was their texture, and unfashionable as was their cut,
indicated the most scrupulous care. It was plain that he had a
fondness for dress, which his circumstances did not permit him to
indulge to any very great extent.
Master Simon Sneed was a great man in his own estimation; and, as
he had read a great many exciting novels, and had a good command
of language, he talked and acted like a great man. He could hold
his own in conversation with older and wiser persons than
himself. He could astonish almost any person of moderate
pretensions by the largeness of his ideas; and, of late years,
his father had not pretended to hold an argument with him, for
Simon always overwhelmed him by the force and elegance of his
rhetoric. He spoke familiarly of great men and great events.
His business relations--for Master Sneed was a business man--were
not very complicated. According to his own reckoning, he was the
chief person in the employ of Messrs. Sands & Co., wholesale and
retail dry good Washington Street; one who had rendered immense
service to the firm, and one without whom the firm could not
possibly get along a single day; in short, a sort of Atlas, on
whose broad shoulders the vast world of the Messrs. Sands & Co.'s
affairs rested. But according to the reckoning of the firm, and
the general understanding of people, Master Simon was a boy in
the store, whose duty it was to make fires, sweep out, and carry
bundles, and, in consideration of the fact that he boarded
himself to receive two dollars and a half a week for his
services. There was a vast difference between Master Simon
Sneed's estimate of Masters Simon Sneed, and the Messrs. Sands &
Co.'s idea of Master Simon Sneed.
But I beg my young friends not to let anything I have written
create a prejudice against him, for he was really a very
kind-hearted young man, and under certain circumstances would
have gone a great way to oblige a friend. He had always been
exceedingly well disposed towards Katy; perhaps it was because
the simple-hearted little girl used to be so much astonished when
he told her about his mercantile relations with the firm of Sands
& Co.; and how he managed all their business for them after the
store was closed at night, and before the front door was unlocked
in the morning; how he went to the bank after immense sums of
money; and how the firm would have to give up business if he
should die, or be obliged to leave them. Katy believed that
Master Simon was a great man, and she wondered how his long, slim
arms could accomplish so much labor, and how his small head could
hold such a heap of magnificent ideas. But Master Simon,
notwithstanding his elevated position in the firm, was
condescending to her; he had more than once done her a favor and
had always expressed a lively interest in her welfare. Therefore
she did not scruple to apply to him in the present emergency.
"Well, Katy, in what manner can I serve you?" inquired Simon, as
he elevated his head, and stood picking his teeth before her.
"I want you to do something for me very much indeed."
"State your business, Katy."
"Dr. Flynch has been to our house to-day, and wants the rent;
mother hasn't any money ----"
"And you wish me to lend you the amount?" continued Simon, when
Katy hesitated to reveal the family trouble. "It is really
unfortunate, Katy; it is after bank hours now, and I don't see
that I can accommodate you."
"O, I don't want to borrow the money."
"Ah, you don't."
"I have got a watch here, which belonged to my father; and I want
to pawn it for the money to pay the rent."
"Well, it is rather out of our line of business to lend money on
"I don't want you to lend it. I want you to take it to the
pawnbroker's. Mother says I am so young and so small that they
might cheat me; and I thought perhaps, may be, you'd be so kind
as to go with me."
"Go with you!" exclaimed Master Simon, as he eyed her coarse,
ill-made garments.
"I thought you would," replied Katy, with a look of
"Well, Katy, I shall be very glad to assist you in this matter,
Master Simon paused, and glanced again at the unfashionable dress
of the suppliant. He was, as he said, willing to aid her; but the
idea of the principal personage of the house of Sands & Co.
walking through the streets of the great city with such an
ill-dressed young lady was absurd, and not to be tolerated.
Master Sneed reflected. It is undoubtedly true that "where there
is a will there is a way."
"Where do you wish to go?" demanded he.
"I don't know."
"Do you know where Brattle Street is?"
"I don't, but I can find it."
"Very well; important business in another street requires my
personal attention for a moment, but I will join you in Brattle
Street in a quarter of an hour, and attend you to a
"Thank you."
Master Sneed gave her directions so that she could find the
street, and at the end of the court, as she turned one way, he
turned the other.
Katy was first at the appointed place of meeting, where Simon
soon joined her; and directing her to follow him, he led the way
into another street, and entered a shop.
"This young person wishes to raise some money on a watch," said
Simon, as he directed the attention of the astonished broker to
Katy, who was scarcely tall enough to be seen over the high
"Let me see it."
Katy handed up the watch, which the money lender opened and
carefully examined. His practised eye soon discovered that the
works of the watch were of the best quality.
"Where did you get this?" asked the broker.
"My mother gave it to me;" and Katy told without reserve the
pitiful story of want and destitution which compelled Mrs.
Redburn to part with the cherished memento of the past.
"I will give you three dollars for the watch," added the broker.
"Come, come, sir," interposed Master Simon, with a smile; "that
is a little too bad. A gentleman of your judgment and discretion
has already assured himself that the article is worth at least
The broker drew a long breath after this speech, and seemed very
much impressed by the style of the remark. But Katy declared she
did not want to sell the watch, only to pawn it.
"Your story is not a very plausible one," said the broker, "and
there is some risk in taking it."
"I give you my personal assurance, on honor that her story is all
true," added Simon.
The broker burst out into a loud laugh. He could not stand
Simon's fine speeches, and would not take the watch at any rate;
so they departed to find another place, and entered a shop close
"Where did you get this?" asked the broker sourly, and Katy
repeated her story, and Simon vouched for its truth.
"It is all a lie," exclaimed the broker, "I will put the watch
into my safe and hand it over to the police."
"This is a most extraordinary proceeding," protested Master
"Get out of the shop, both of you, or I will hand you over to the
police! You stole the watch, and have the audacity to bring it
into the shop of an honest man. I don't buy stolen goods."
Katy began to cry, as the last hope of redemption from the fangs
of Dr. Flynch fled. Even Master Simon Sneed was alarmed at the
idea of being handed over to the police; but his sense of dignity
compelled him to enter his earnest protest, against the
proceeding of the broker, and even to threaten him with the
terrors of the law. The money-lender repeated his menace, and
even went to the door, for the apparent purpose of putting it
into execution.
"Come, Katy, let us go; but I assure you I will represent this
outrage to my friend the mayor, in such a manner that entire
justice shall be done you," whispered Simon. "I cannot remain any
longer away from my business, or I would recover the watch at
"O, dear! my poor mother!" sobbed Katy.
"Don't cry, my child; leave it all to me, and run home as fast as
you can. You shall have the watch again, for I will call in the
whole police force of Boston to your aid;" and Master Simon ran
away to attend to the affairs of Sands & Co., which Katy
innocently concluded must be suffering by this time from his
Poor Katy! with a heavy heart she wandered home to tell her
mother of this new misfortune.
"I suppose it is all for the best, mother," said Katy, when she
had told her sad story of disappointment. "I can't get those
words out of my head, since you have told me about my father. I
feel just as though everything would come out right, it does go
very bad just now."
"I am glad you feel so, Katy," added Mrs. Redburn. "It will make
you much better contented with your lot. I have suffered so much
that I cannot help repining a little, though I feel that my
destiny and yours is in the hands of the wise Father, who
bringeth good out of evil."
Katy had not yet reached that spirit of meek submission to the
will of Heaven which looks upward in the hour of trial, not
doubting that the all-wise God knows best what is for the good of
his children. If she believed that misfortunes were all for the
best, it was only an impulse derived from the story of her
father; a kind of philosophy which was very convenient for the
evil day, because it permitted the sufferer to lie down and take
things easily. It was not a filial trust in the wisdom and mercy
of the heavenly Father that sustained her as the clouds grew
thicker and blacker around her; it was only a cold indifference,
a feeling of the head rather than the heart.
But Mrs. Redburn had been reading the New Testament during Katy's
absence, and a better and purer spirit pervaded her soul than
when the weight of the blow first struck so heavily upon her. She
was well educated, and capable of reasoning in a just manner over
her misfortunes; and those words on the watch seemed to convey a
new meaning to her, as she considered them in the light of
Christian revelation. They were not the basis of a cold
philosophy; they assured her of the paternal care of God. The
thought strengthened and revived her, and when Katy appeared to
announce a new trial, she received the intelligence with
calmness, and felt more ready than ever before to leave her
destiny in the hands of Heaven. For an hour she conversed with
Katy on this subject, and succeeded in giving her some new views
in relation to the meaning of the words she had so often repeated
that afternoon.
The poor girl felt as she had never felt before. Upon her
devolved the responsibility of providing for her mother. She had
no other friend, and that day seemed to open a new era in her
existence. She felt strong for the work before her, and resolved
to lose not a single day in putting her resolution into
operation. The teachings of her mother, breathing a spirit of
piety and resignation, were grateful to her heart, and added new
strength to her arm.
There was still food enough in the house for Katy's supper, for
her mother could not eat, though she drank a cup of tea. The
morning sun would shine upon them again, bringing another day of
want and wretchedness, but the poor girl banished her fears,
trusting for the morrow to Him who feedeth the hungry raven, and
tempereth the wind to the shorn lamb.
She laid her head upon her pillow that night, not to sleep for
many a weary hour, but to think of the future; not of its sorrows
and treasured ills, but of the golden opportunities it would
afford her to do something for her sick mother. At one o'clock
the next day Dr. Flynch would come for the rent again and her
mother could not pay him. She felt assured he was cold and cruel
enough to execute his wicked threat to turn them out of the
house, though her mother had not been off her bed for many weeks.
What could be done? They could not pay the rent; that was
impossible; and she regarded it as just as impossible to melt the
heart of Dr. Flynch. But long before she went to sleep she had
decided what to do.
Worn out with fatigue and anxiety, she did not wake till a late
hour; and her mother, who had kept a weary vigil all night, was
glad to see her sleep so well, and did not arouse her. She was
refreshed by her deep slumbers, and got up feeling like a new
creature. She had scarcely made a fire and put on the tea-kettle,
before a knock at the door startled her. Who could wish to see
them in their poverty and want?--who but some evil person, coming
to heap some new grief upon them? She scarcely had the courage to
open the door, but when she did so, she saw the smiling face of
Tommy Howard.
"Good morning, Katy," said he, as he handed her a little basket
he had brought. "Mother sent this over, and wants to know how
Mrs. Redburn does to-day."
"She is about the same. What is in this basket, Tommy?"
"O, you know;" and he turned to run away.
"Stop a minute, Tommy," called Katy. "I want to speak to you."
"Well, what is it?"
"You haven't told anybody about it--have you?"
"About what?"
"What I told you yesterday," replied Katy, hanging her head with
"What do you mean?"
"That we had nothing to eat," and Katy blushed as though it was a
crime to be hungry and have nothing to eat.
"Not a soul--catch me! that is, I hain't told nobody but mother."
"I am sorry you did, even her. My mother is very proud, if she is
poor; but she wasn't always so poor as she is now, for she is the
daughter of a rich merchant."
"You don't say so."
"Yes, I do, Tommy; so please don't say a word about it to anybody
but your mother, and ask her not to mention it."
"Not a word, Katy, mother won't say a word either."
"And sometime I'll tell you all about it. Thank you for what's in
the basket, Tommy."
Without waiting for anything more, the noble, generous boy leaped
down the stairs and passed out at the front door.
"What have you got there, Katy?" asked Mrs. Redburn, as she
entered the room with the basket in her hand.
"Something Mrs. Howard sent us," she replied, as she opened the
basket, and took out a plate of butter and half a dozen hot
biscuit, which she carried to the bedside for her mother's
"What have you done, my child?" exclaimed the poor woman, a flush
gathering on her pale cheek. "Have you told the neighbors that we
have nothing to eat?"
"I couldn't help telling Tommy when I asked for the flounders
yesterday; he told his mother, but no one else knows it."
"I had rather starve than beg, Katy; but I cannot compel you to
do so."
"I will not beg."
"Then let us send those cakes back."
"No, mother; we must not be so proud as that. I think that God
sent us this food through Mrs. Howard, and it would be wicked to
reject His bounty."
"Do as you please, Katy."
"Some time we shall be able to pay her; and that will make it all
Mrs. Redburn could not taste the biscuit, but Katy ate heartily.
Her pride was not inflated by the remembrance of brighter days.
All she had was inherited from her mother.
After breakfast she put on her bonnet and left the house,
assuring her mother she should be back by twelve o'clock. She
would not tell her where she was going, but evaded her questions,
and got away as soon as she could.
As she passed down Washington Street, she stopped before the
store of Sands & Co., for she wanted to see Master Simon Sneed.
She did not like to enter the store; so she waited on the
sidewalk for half an hour, hoping he would come out. As he did
not appear, her impatience would not permit her to lose any more
time, and she timidly opened the door, and inquired of the first
salesman she saw if Mister Sneed was in.
"Mister Sneed!" laughed the clerk. "Here, Simon, is one of your
friends. Wait upon her."
Simon, with a flushed cheek, came to the door. He was horrified
at the insinuation of the salesman and wished Katy had been on
the other side of the ocean before she had come there to
scandalize him by claiming his acquaintance.
"What do you want now?" he demanded, rather rudely. "Is it not
enough that I am willing to help you, without your coming here to
bring me into contempt with my associates?"
"I didn't think there was any harm in it. I waited outside for
half an hour, and you didn't come out."
"I can't leave the affairs of this firm to attend to every
little----" and Master Simon's naturally good heart prevented him
from uttering the unkind words that had been on his tongue. "I
suppose you come to know about the watch. I haven't had time to
call upon the mayor yet, but I will do so at dinner time."
"I only wanted to ask you if you know where Mrs. Gordon lives,"
replied Katy, very sad at the thought of the mischief she had
"She lives in Temple Street, over back of the State House. What
do you want of her?"
"I want to see her. Do you suppose you can get that watch back?"
"I'm certain I can. When my friend the mayor hears my story, you
may depend upon it he will get the watch, or upset all the
pawn-brokers' shops in the city."
"Are you acquainted with the mayor?" asked Katy, timidly, for,
since the adventure of the previous day, she had entertained some
slight doubts in regard to the transcendent abilities of Master
Simon Sneed.
"Certainly I am. It was only last week that I had a long and
extremely interesting conversation with his honor on the sidewalk
here before the store."
Katy was satisfied, though Simon did not offer to introduce her
to his distinguished friend. How could she help being satisfied
in the face of such astounding evidence? And Simon's declaration
was true, for whatever faults he had, he never made up a story
out of whole cloth. It was undeniably true that he had conversed
with the mayor for ten full minutes, at the time and place
represented. Simon had been sent out to hold his honor's horse,
while a lady with him did some shopping; but his honor preferred
to hold his own horse, and amused himself for the time in
listening to the big talk of the nice young man.
After receiving more explicit directions in regard to the
residence of Mrs. Gordon, Katy took her leave of Simon. Next door
to Sands & Co.'s was the store of a celebrated confectioner. In
the window, with sundry sugar temples, cob houses of braided
candy and stacks of cake, was a great heap of molasses candy; and
as Katy paused for an instant to gaze at the profusion of sweet
things, a great thought struck through her brain.
"Mother used to make molasses candy for me, and I know just how
it is done," said she to herself. "What is the reason I can't
make candy and sell it?"
She walked on towards School Street, up which she had been
directed to turn, full of this idea. She would become a little
candy merchant. She felt sure she could find purchasers enough,
if her merchandise only looked clean and good. It was a great
deal better than begging, and she thought her mother would
consent to her making and selling the candy. What a glorious
idea! If she could only make money enough to support her mother
and herself, how happy she should be!
Full of enthusiasm at the idea of accomplishing such a vast
project, she scarcely heeded the crowds of people that thronged
the street and rudely jostled her. If she saw them at all, it was
only to regard them as so many purchasers of molasses candy. With
her brain almost reeling with the immensity and magnificence of
her scheme, she reached Temple Street. After a little search, she
found the number of Mrs. Gordon's residence on a splendid house,
whose grandness quite abashed her. But her courage revived as she
thought of the purpose that had brought her there, and she boldly
rang the bell. The door was opened by a servant man in a white
jacket, of whom she inquired if Mrs. Gordon was at home.
"Mrs. Gordon is at home, but we don't trouble her at the call of
a beggar," replied the well-fed servant as he glanced at the
homely apparel of Katy.
"I am not a beggar," she replied, with spirit, her cheek
reddening with indignation at the charge.
"You can't see her; so go about your business."
"Who is it Michael?" said a gentle voice within.
"Only a beggar, Miss Grace; she wants to see Mrs. Gordon,"
replied the man; and then a beautiful young lady came to look at
"I am not a beggar, ma'am; indeed I am not. I want to see Mrs.
Gordon very much. Please to let me speak to her."
The sweet, pleading tones of the child produced their impression
on the beautiful lady, and she bade her come in. Katy entered,
and Michael told her to stand in the entry while Miss Grace went
up-stairs to call Mrs. Gordon.
Katy gazed with wonder and admiration at the rich furniture of
the house, and thought that perhaps her grandfather lived in as
good style as Mrs. Gordon, and that she might some day go to
Liverpool and be an inmate of just such a palace. The door of the
sitting-room was open, and she had an opportunity to look at all
the fine things it contained. She had never seen anything so
luxurious before, and I must say that she regretted the poverty
of her lot, which deprived her mother and herself of them.
All round the room hung pictures in costly frames. Some of them
were portraits; and one which hung over the mantelpiece directly
before her, soon attracted her attention, and made her forget the
soft divans, the beautiful carpet, and the rich draperies of the
windows. It was the portrait of a lady, and her expression was
very like that of her mother--so like that she could almost
believe the picture had been painted for her mother. Yet that
could not be, for the lady was young, and plump, and rosy, and
wore rich laces, and a costly dress. She seemed to look down upon
her from the golden frame with a smile of satisfaction. There was
something roguish in her eye, as though she was on the point of
bursting into a laugh at some mischief she had perpetrated. O,
no! that could not be her mother; she had never seen her look
like that. But there was something that seemed very much like
her; and the more she looked at it, the more the picture
fascinated her. She tried to look at something else, but the lady
appeared to have fixed her gaze upon her, and, whichever way she
turned, those laughing eyes followed her, and brought back her
attention to the canvas again.
In vain she attempted to fasten her mind upon some of the other
portraits. There was an elderly gentleman, with a full red face;
but the jealous lady would not let her look at him. She turned
round and looked out the windows at the side of the door; but the
spell of the lady was upon her, and she could not resist the
charm. The more she studied the portrait, the more convinced she
became that it looked like her mother, though there was something
about it which was as unlike her as anything could be. "What
makes you keep looking at me?" said Katy to herself, or rather to
the lady on the canvas. "You needn't watch me so closely; I shall
not steal anything."
The lady, however, insisted on watching her, and kept her roguish
glance fixed upon her with a steadiness that began to make her
feel nervous and uneasy; and she was greatly relieved when she
heard footsteps on the stairs.
"Mrs. Gordon will be down in a moment," said Miss Grace, in kind
tones. "Won't you come into this room and sit down?"
Katy thanked her, and Grace led her to a small chair directly
under the mischievous-looking lady in the frame; and she felt a
kind of satisfaction in being placed out of her sight. But it
seemed, even then, as she cast a furtive glance upward, that
those roguish eyes were trying to peer over the picture frame,
and get a look at her.
"Well, little girl, what do you wish with me?" said Mrs. Gordon,
a benevolent looking lady, apparently of more than forty years of
age, who now entered the room.
The expression of her countenance was very pleasant, and though
there were a few wrinkles on her brow and she wore a lace cap,
Katy came to the conclusion that the portrait had been taken for
her. She wondered if such a dignified lady could ever have been
so roguish as the picture indicated.
"Please, ma'am," stammered she, rising from her chair, "I come to
see you about the house we live in."
"What is your name, child?"
"Katy Redburn, ma'am."
"In what house do you live in?"
"In one of yours in Colvin Court. Mother is a poor woman, and has
been sick so much this summer that she can't pay the rent."
"I am very sorry for you, my child, but I refer you to my agent,
Dr. Flynch. I do not like to meddle with these things, as I have
given him the whole care of my houses. You will find him a very
good man, and one who will be willing to consider your case. He
will extend to you all the lenity your case requires."
"We have told Dr. Flynch all about it, ma'am and he says if the
rent is not paid by one o'clock to-day, he shall turn us out of
the house."
"Indeed!" exclaimed Mrs. Gordon; and Grace actually jumped out of
her chair with astonishment and indignation.
"Yes, ma'am; that's just what he said," added Katy, satisfied
with the impression she had produced.
"Is your mother ill now?" asked Mrs. Gordon.
"Yes ma'am; she has not been off her bed for twelve weeks."
"What does Dr. Flynch say, my child?"
"He says my mother deceived him; that she told him a falsehood;
and that she had money, when she didn't have a cent."
"It is too bad, mother!" exclaimed Grace.
"Hush, Grace; probably Dr. Flynch knows best, for he certainly
would not turn a poor sick woman out of doors because she did not
pay the rent. There may be, as he says, some deception about it,
which he can penetrate and we cannot."
"There is no deception about it, ma'am," pleaded Katy, much
disturbed by this sudden damper upon her hopes. "She has not got
a single cent. She wouldn't tell a lie, and I wouldn't either."
There was something in the eloquence and earnestness of the child
that deeply impressed the mind of the lady, and she could hardly
resist the conclusion that her agent had, in this instance, made
a mistake. But she had great confidence in Dr. Flynch, and she
was very unwilling to believe that he could be so harsh and cruel
as the little girl represented. She had heard of the tricks of
the vicious poor, and while she was disposed to be very tender of
a needy tenant, she must be just to her agent.
"It is now half-past ten," continued Mrs. Gordon.
"You shall remain here, my child, and I will send Michael down to
Colvin Court to inquire into the situation of your mother. He
must be impartial for he knows nothing about the case."
"Thank you, ma'am," said Katy, with a promptness which assured
Grace, if not her mother, that the little girl was honest.
Mrs. Gordon rang the bell, and when Michael answered the summons,
she attended him to the street door, where she instructed him to
call upon Mrs. Redburn, and also to inquire of the grocer at the
corner, and of her neighbors, what sort of a person she was. The
lady returned to the sitting-room when he had gone, and asked
Katy a great many questions about herself and her mother, and
thus nearly an hour was consumed, at the end of which time
Michael returned. Katy had answered all the lady's questions
fairly, though without betraying her family history, which her
mother had cautioned her to keep to herself, that she was
prepared to receive a favorable report from her man.
"Well, Michael, did you find the woman at home?" asked Mrs.
Gordon, as the man presented himself.
"Indeed, I deed, marm."
"What was she doing?"
"She was fast in bed, and told me she hadn't been out of it for
twelve weeks come Saturday."
"What does the grocer say?"
"He says she is a very good woman, but poor and proud. She always
paid him every cent she owed him, and he'd trust her for half he
has in his shop."
"That will do, Michael; you may go;" and the man retired with a
respectful bow.
Katy's face wore a smile of triumph, as Michael was dismissed.
Her mother's truthfulness had been vindicated, and it was the
proudest moment she had known for many a day.
"How long has your mother lived in my house?" asked Mrs. Gordon.
"About three years, ma'am; and she always paid her rent till this
month," replied Katy.
"If she had not, Dr. Flynch would have turned her into the
street," added Grace; and it was evident the beautiful young lady
had no special regard for that worthy gentleman.
"We have tried hard enough to pay the rent this month," continued
Katy; and she proceeded to tell the story of the silver watch,
that had belonged to her father.
"This is dreadful, mother; let us do something about it," said
Grace. "What a wretch the broker must have been!"
"We will endeavor to get the watch back for her," replied Mrs.
Gordon, as she seated herself at a table and wrote a few lines on
a piece of paper. "Here, my child, is a receipt for your month's
rent. When Dr. Flynch comes for the money, you show him this, and
he will be satisfied;" and she handed her the receipt.
Katy took it, and thanked the good lady, assuring her that her
mother would certainly pay the money as soon as she got well.
"My mother is poor and proud, just as the grocer said, and she
don't ask any one to give her anything. I am going to earn some
money myself, and I hope I shall be able to pay the next month's
rent," added Katy, as she moved towards the door.
"But the watch, mother?" interposed Grace.
"If the little girl will come here this afternoon or to-morrow
morning, we will take her to the mayor who will have the case
attended to."
"I will come any time, ma'am."
"The mayor is my friend, and I will call at his house with you
this afternoon at three o'clock."
Katy could not but think the mayor had a great many friends, for
there was Master Simon Sneed, and Mrs. Gordon, and she knew not
how many more. She thanked the lady very warmly for her kindness,
and promising to come at the time stated, she took her leave.
She was followed to the door by Grace, who detained her there.
"Katy, I am sure you are a very good little girl, and here is a
dollar for you. It will buy something good for your mother."
"I thank you very much, Miss Gordon. I am poor, but proud, like
my mother," replied she, as a flush of shame mantled her cheek.
"What a foolish little girl!" laughed Grace. "Take it; you will
oblige me very much by taking it."
"No, ma'am, I can't; my mother wouldn't own me if I should take
money as a gift."
"But you must take it, Katy; I shall be angry if you don't."
The little girl looked up into her pretty eyes beaming with pity
and love; and she could hardly resist the temptation to oblige
her by accepting the gift; but since she had heard the story of
her mother's life, she understood why she was so much prouder
than other poor people; and as she thought of her grandfather in
his fine house in the great city of Liverpool, she felt a little
of the same spirit--she too was poor and proud. Besides, as Grace
jingled the two half dollars together, there was a harmony in the
sound that suggested a great heap of good things for her mother.
And there was another powerful consideration that weighed with
great force upon her mind. One of those half dollars would be a
sufficient capital upon which to commence her candy speculation.
It would buy ever so much molasses of the very best quality. As
she thought of this, she was disposed, at least, to compromise
with Miss Grace.
"I cannot accept the money as a gift, but you may lend it to me,
if you please," said Katy, after she had reflected a moment.
"Just as you like," laughed Grace; "but I shall not feel bad if
you never pay me."
"I shall certainly pay it again," persisted the embryo candy
merchant. "I would not take it if I thought I could not."
"Very well; but you must know I think you are a very singular
little girl."
"I am poor and proud; that's all."
Katy took the loan, and with her fancy fired with brilliant
expectations in regard to the candy operation, ran home to her
mother as fast as her feet would carry her. Mrs. Redburn was much
displeased with her at first for what she had done. Her pride
revolted at the thought of begging a favor; but Katy explained
the matter so well that she was satisfied, though nothing was
said about the loan she had obtained.
Punctually at the appointed hour came Dr. Flynch for the rent.
"Have you got the money?" he demanded in his usual bland tones,
though Katy thought she could see a wicked purpose in his little
gray eye.
"No, sir; but----"
"That's all I desire to know, Mrs. Redburn," interrupted the
agent. "You must leave the house."
"But, sir, I have something that will do as well as the money,"
added the sick woman.
"Have you, indeed?" sneered Dr. Flynch "I think not."
"Will you read that, sir?" said Katy, handing him Mrs. Gordon's
The agent took the paper, and as he read, the wonted serenity of
his brow was displaced by a dark scowl. His threats had been
disregarded, and he had been reported to his employer.
"So you have been fawning and cringing upon Mrs. Gordon," growled
he. "Probably you have told her more lies than you dared tell
"I told her nothing but the truth, and she sent her man down here
to find out all about us, said Katy, smartly.
"Very well; this paper will only delay the matter for a few days;
when I have exposed you to her, she will acquiesce in my views;"
and Dr. Flynch threw down the receipt and left the house.
"We are well rid of him, at any rate," said Katy.
"Now I will get you some dinner, for I must be at Mrs. Gordon's
at three o'clock; and I want to tell you about my plan too,
The active little girl made a cup of tea for her mother, and the
dinner was soon dispatched.
Katy had not time then to tell her mother about the candy
speculation she had in view, and she was obliged to wait till her
return from Temple Street. Promptly at the hour, she presented
herself at Mrs. Gordon's, and they went to the house of the
mayor; but that distinguished gentleman was not at home, and the
lady promised to go again with her the next day.
As she walked home, she thought of what she should say to her
mother in favor of the candy project, for she felt sure her
mother's pride would throw many obstacles in her path. The best
argument she could think of was, that the business would be an
honest calling and though she was too proud to beg, she was not
too proud to work, or to take a very humble position among the
people around her. She did not look upon the act of selling candy
to the passers-by in the streets as degrading in itself, and
therein she differed very widely from her mother, who had been
brought up in ease and affluence. Before she got home she had
made up her mind what she should say, and how she should defend
her plan from the assaults of pride.
"Now, mother, you shall hear my plan," she continued, after she
had announced the ill success of her visit to the mayor's house.
"I am going into business, and I expect to make a great deal of
"Are you, indeed?" replied Mrs. Redburn, smiling at the
enthusiasm of her daughter.
"I am; and you must not be angry with me, or object very much to
my plan."
"Well, what is your plan?"
"I am going to sell candy," said Katy, pausing to notice the
effect of this startling declaration. "You know what nice
molasses candy you used to make for me. Mrs. Sneed and Mrs.
Colvin said a great many times that it was a good deal better
than they could buy at the shops."
"But, child, I am not able to make candy now. I cannot get off my
"I will make it; you shall lay there and tell me how. I am sure I
can make it."
"It is very hard work to pull it."
"I won't mind that."
"Suppose you can make it, how will you sell it?" asked Mrs.
Redburn, casting an anxious glance at the enthusiastic little
"O, I shall take a box, and offer it to the folks that pass along
the streets."
"Are you crazy, Katy?" exclaimed the mother, raising her head on
the bed. "Do you think I could permit you to do such a thing?"
"Why not, mother?"
"What a life for a child to lead! Do you think I could let you
wander about the streets exposed to the insults and rude jests of
the vicious and thoughtless? You do not understand what you
"I think I do, mother. I don't see any harm in selling candy to
those who are willing to buy."
"Perhaps there is no harm in the mere act of selling candy; but
what a life for you to lead! It makes me shudder to think of it."
"It is your pride, mother."
"I am thankful I have: some pride left, Katy."
"But mother, we can't be poor and proud. We haven't got any money
to proud with."
"I am proud, I know; I wish I could banish it," replied Mrs.
Redburn, with a deep sigh.
"Let me try the plan, mother, and if I can't get along with it, I
will give it up."
"It will subject you to a great many trials and temptations."
"I can manage them, mother."
"Can you submit to the insults of evil-minded persons?"
"Yes, mother; no decent person would insult me and I don't care
for others. I can pity them, and run away from them. I am not
afraid of anything. Do let me try."
Mrs. Redburn saw that Katy was too earnest to be thwarted; that,
impelled by a noble purpose, she had set her heart upon making
the attempt, and she did not like to disappoint her. It is true,
she keenly felt the degradation of such a life, and even feared
that Katy might be led astray while pursuing such an occupation;
but she gave a reluctant consent, trusting that one or two
experiments would disgust her with the business.
Katy clapped her hands with joy as her mother's scruples gave
way, and she found herself at liberty to carry her plan into
execution. It seemed to her as though she had crossed the
threshold of fortune and had actually entered the great temple.
She had an opportunity to accomplish a great work, and her
enthusiasm would not permit her to doubt in regard to her final
"I must begin now, mother, and make all the candy this afternoon,
so that I can commence selling it early to-morrow morning. I will
go to the grocery now and get the molasses."
"Poor child; you have nothing to get it with. We have no money;
you did not think of that."
"Yes, I did, and I have the money to buy the molasses. I borrowed
it," replied Katy, evincing some confusion.
"You borrowed it? Pray who would lend you money?"
"Miss Grace Gordon."
"Did you borrow it, Katy?" asked Mrs. Redburn, casting a
reproachful glance at her.
"Yes, mother, I did. I would not accept money now, after what you
have said to me. Miss Grace wanted to give it to me; but I told
her I could not take it. She laughed at me, and I said I was poor
and proud. She would make me take it, and said so much, that, at
last, I told her if she would lend it to me, I would take it."
"It was the same as a gift," said Mrs. Redburn, blushing with
shame at the thought of accepting alms.
"No, it wasn't; she may think it was, but I mean to pay her, and
I shall pay her; I know I shall."
"If you can," sighed the proud mother.
"I shall be able to pay her soon, for I mean to sell lots of
"You may be disappointed."
"No: I am sure I shall sell a good deal; I mean to make people
buy. I shall talk up smart to them just as the shopkeepers do; I
am going to tell them what candy it is, and that their little
sons and daughters will like it very much."
"You are beside yourself, Katy. It pains me to hear you talk so.
It is sad to think a child of mine should relish such an
employment as that in which you are going to engage."
"Do you remember the book my Sunday-school teacher gave me last
New Year's day, mother? It was all about false pride; I want you
to read it, mother. We can't afford to be so proud."
"Go and get your molasses. Katy," replied Mrs. Redburn, who could
not but acknowledge the truth of her daughter's remarks.
She had read the book alluded to, and was not willing to confront
the arguments it had put in the mouth of her child. She was
conscious that her pride, which made a humble occupation
repulsive to her, was a false pride. If it could have been
carried on in private, it would not have seemed so galling. For
years she had been a recluse from society, mingling only with her
humble neighbors, and with them no more than her circumstances
required. She had labored in solitude, and shunned observation as
much as possible, by carrying her work back and forth in the
evening. Years of hard toil had not familiarized her with the
circumstances of her lot. She tried to be humble and submissive,
but the memory of her early days could not be driven away.
Katy returned in a few minutes with the jug of molasses. She
bustled round and made up a good fire, got the kettle on, and
everything in readiness for the work. Her mother gave her
directions how to proceed; but Katy could impart to her none of
her own enthusiasm.
When the molasses had been cooked enough, she was ready to
commence the pulling, which was the most difficult part in the
manufacture of her merchandise. Then she found that her trials
had indeed commenced. At first the sticky mass, in spite of the
butter and the flour with which she had plentifully daubed her
hands, was as obstinate as a mule. It would not work one way or
another; now it melted down, and stuck to her fingers, and then
it became as solid as a rock. She fretted some at these crosses,
and as her spirits sank, her mother's rose, for she thought
Katy's resolution would not hold out long enough for her to
complete the experiment. But she underrated the energy of the
devoted girl, who, in the face of every discouragement, stuck to
the candy with as much zeal as the candy stuck to her.
As is almost always the case with those who persevere to the end,
Katy soon won a partial triumph, which gladdened her heart, and
gave her courage to continue her trying labors. She had worked a
portion of the mass into candy--clear, light-colored, inviting
candy. Columbus felt no prouder of his achievement when he had
crossed the Atlantic, or, Napoleon when he had crossed the Alps.
She danced for joy as she gazed upon the clear, straight sticks
of candy, as they were arranged in the pan. It was a great
conquest for her; but at what a sacrifice it had been won! Her
little hands, unused to such hard work, were blistered in a dozen
places, and smarted as though they had been scalded with boiling
water. She showed them to her mother, who begged her not to do
any more; but she had too much enthusiasm to be deterred by the
smart of her wounds, and resolutely resumed her labor.
She had scarcely commenced upon the second mass before she was
interrupted by the entrance of Mrs. Howard, her friend Tommy's
"Why, what are you doing, child?" asked the good woman. "I
thought you were all sick, and here you are making candy, as
merry as on a feast day."
"I am making it to sell, Mrs. Howard," replied Katy, proudly.
"Bless me! but you're a queer child! Do you think folks will buy
it of you?"
"I know they will;" and Katy detailed her plan to the interested
neighbor, declaring she was sure she could support her mother and
herself by making and selling candy. "But it is very hard work,"
she added; "see how I've blistered my hands."
"Poor child! it's enough to kill you!" exclaimed Mrs. Howard, as
she glanced at the great blisters on Katy's hands.
"I have been trying to make her give up the idea, but she has
more courage than I ever gave her credit for," remarked Mrs.
"It's a shame for you to hurt your hands in this manner; but I
dare say that they will soon get hard, like mine, with the
labor," replied Mrs. Howard, as she threw off her hood and rolled
up her sleeves. "Here, child, let me help you."
"You are very kind, ma'am; and I hope I shall be able to do
something for you some time."
"Never you mind that; you are a nice girl, and it does my heart
good to see you trying to help your mother," added the kind
woman, as she detached a large mass of candy, and commenced
pulling it with a vigor that astonished the weak-handed little
girl. "You're a jewel and a blessing, and you're worth a dozen of
the fine ladies that are too proud to lift a finger to keep their
bodies from starving. Ah, it's a dreadful misfortune to be
"To be poor and proud," said Mrs. Redburn.
"You are right, ma'am; and I am glad to see you have none of it
here; for some of your neighbors used to say you were too proud
to speak to them."
Mrs. Redburn made no reply, and permitted her kind neighbor,
whose tongue scarcely ceased to swing for a moment, to continue
her remarks without opposition. She and Katy worked with all
their might till the candy was ready for market, and when the
poor invalid poured out her thanks, she ran off and left them.
The exultation with which Katy regarded her plentiful stock of
merchandise almost caused her to forget her smarting hands; and
when she could no longer keep her eyes open, she went to sleep to
dream of great operations in molasses candy on change next day.
Katy rose the next morning bright and early, and her heart was
full of hope. She felt that she had a great work to perform, and
she was going forth to do it, resolved that no obstacle should
turn her back. Her mother had told her that she would be laughed
at, and made fun of; that thoughtless people would look down upon
her with contempt, and that wicked ones would insult her. She
was, therefore, prepared for all these trials, but she had braced
herself up to meet them with courage and fortitude.
Her mother was sick, and they were actually in a suffering
condition. What right had she to be proud in her poverty? She
felt able to support her mother, and she could find no excuse, if
she wished to do so, for not supporting her. It was her duty,
therefore, to sell candy if she could get money by it; and thus
consideration strengthened her heart.
Katy had been to the public school and to the Sunday school until
her mother was taken sick; and though she was only eleven years
old, she had a very good idea of her moral and religious duties.
"Honor thy father and thy mother," the commandment says; and she
could think of no better way to obey the divine precept than to
support her mother when there was no one else upon whom she could
rely. Little by little their earthly possessions had passed away.
Mrs. Redburn had never learned how to save money; and when the
day of adversity came, her funds were soon exhausted. She had no
friends to whom she dared reveal her poverty, and when want came
to the door, she was too proud to beg. Hoping for better days,
she had sold most of her best dresses, and those of Katy. The
small sums raised by these sacrifices were soon used up; and when
the daughter could no longer make a decent appearance, she was
required to show herself much more than ever before. Katy did not
repine at this, though her mother did, for their pride, as my
young friends have discovered, was of very different kinds.
Katy did wish she had a little better dress, and a little better
bonnet for her first attempt in the mercantile calling; but there
was no help for it. She had mended her clothes as well as she
could, and as they were clean, she was pretty well satisfied with
her personal appearance. Besides, people would not be half so apt
to buy her candy if she were well dressed, as if she were rather
plainly clothed. In short, it was all for the best.
After breakfast she prepared herself for the duties of the day.
Her heart beat violently with anxiety and expectation, and while
she was placing the candy on the tray, which she had previously
covered with white paper. to render her wares the more inviting,
her mother gave her a long lecture on the trials and difficulties
in her path, and the proper way to encounter them.
"Now, my dear child," said Mrs. Redburn, in conclusion "if any
evil person insults you, do not resent it, but run away as fast
as you can."
"Shan't I say anything, mother?"
"Not a word."
"But if some naughty boy or girl, no bigger than I am myself,
should be saucy to me, I think I can give them as good as they
"Don't do it, Katy."
"They have no business to insult me."
"That is very true; but when you use bad or violent language to
them, you go down to their level."
"But if they begin it?"
"No matter, Katy; if they are unkind and wicked, it is no reason
that you should be unkind and wicked. If you leave them without
resenting their insults, the chances are that they will be
ashamed of themselves before you get out of sight. You need not
be low and vile because others are."
"I guess you are right, mother."
"You know what the Bible says: `If thine enemy hunger, feed him;
if he thirst, give him drink, for in so doing thou shalt heap
coals of fire on his head.' "
"I won't say a word, mother, whatever they say to me. I'll be as
meek as Moses."
"I hope you will not be gone long," added Mrs. Redburn.
"I have thirty sticks of candy here. I don't think it will take
me long to sell the whole of them. I shall be back by dinner time
whether I sell them or not for you know I must go to Mrs. Gordon
again to-day. Now, good-by, mother, and don't you worry about me,
for I will do everything just as though you were looking at me."
Katy closed the door behind her, and did not see the great tears
that slid down her mother's pale cheek as she departed. It was
well she did not, for it would have made her heart very sad to
know all the sorrow and anxiety that distressed her mother as she
saw her going out into the crowded streets of a great city, to
expose herself to a thousand temptations. She wept long and
bitterly in the solitude of her chamber, and perhaps her wounded
pride caused many of her tears to flow. But better thoughts came
at last, and she took up the Bible which lay on the bed, and read
a few passages. Then she prayed to God that he would be with Katy
in the midst of the crowd, and guide her safely through the
perils and temptations that would assail her. She tried to banish
her foolish pride, when she considered her circumstances, she
could almost believe it was a wicked pride; but when she
endeavored to be reconciled to her lot, the thought of her
father's fine house, and the servants that used to wait upon her,
came up, and the struggle in her heart was very severe. In spite
of all she had said to Katy about the disgrace of selling candy
in the streets, she could not but be thankful that the poor girl
had none of her foolish pride. She read in the New Testament
about the lowly life which Jesus and the apostles led, and then
asked herself what right she had to be proud. And thus she
struggled through the long hours she remained alone--trying to be
humble, trying to be good and true. Those who labor and struggle
as hard as she did are always the better for it, even though they
do not achieve a perfect triumph over the passions that torment
Katy blushed when she met the keeper of the grocery at the corner
of the court, for in spite of all her fine talk about false
pride, she had not entirely banished it from her heart. Some
queer ideas came into her head as she thought what she was doing.
What would her grandfather, the rich Liverpool merchant, say,
should he meet her then? Of course he would not know her; he
would be ashamed of her. But she did not permit such reflections
as these to influence her; and as soon as she was conscious of
the nature of her thoughts she banished them.
"I'm going to support my mother, and I have no right to be proud.
If I meet my grandfather, I should like to sell him twenty sticks
of candy."
"Hallo, Katy! What are you going to do?" said a voice behind,
which she recognized as that of her friend Tommy Howard.
"I'm going to sell this candy," replied Katy.
"You're a spunky one; mother told me all about it. I should like
two sticks," said Tommy, as he offered her the money.
"Take two, Tommy, and as many more as you like."
"Two is all I want;" and he placed the two cents on the tray.
"No, Tommy, I won't take your money," replied Katy, with a blush,
for she felt ashamed to take his money.
"That's no way to trade," laughed Tommy. "You won't make much, it
you do so. Keep the money and I will keep the candy."
"I can't keep it, Tommy."
"You must; if you don't take the money, I won't take the candy."
"I owe you two cents, Tommy. I will pay you now."
"No, you don't!"
"Please to take them; I shall feel very bad, if you don't."
Tommy Howard looked her in the eye a moment; he saw a tear there.
Her pride was wounded, and he took the two cents from the tray,
for he did not wish to give her pain.
"Now, we are square, Tommy," said Katy, as her face brightened up
"Yes, we are, but I don't like it pretty well. One of these days,
when you get out of this scrape, I will let you give me as much
candy as you have a mind to."
This was very obliging of Tommy; and when Katy understood his
motive, she was sorry she had not permitted him to pay for the
candy, for she saw that he did not feel just right about the
transaction. It was not exactly mercantile, but then the heart
comes before commerce. As she walked along, she could not help
thinking that her natural generosity might seriously interfere
with the profits of her enterprise. She had a great many friends;
and it became a knotty question for her to decide whether, if she
met any of her school companions, she should give each of them a
stick of candy. She would like to do so very much indeed; but it
was certain she could not afford to pursue such a liberal policy.
It was a hard question, and, hoping she should not meet any of
her schoolmates, she determined to refer it to her mother for
When she got into Washington Street, she felt that the time for
action had come. Now was the time to sell candy; and yet she did
not feel like asking folks to buy her wares. The night before, as
she lay thinking about her business, it had all seemed very easy
to her; but now it was quite a different thing. No one seemed to
take any notice of her, or to feel the least interest in the
great mission she had undertaken. But Katy was aware that it
requires some effort in these days to sell goods, and she must
work; she must ask people to buy her candy.
There was a nice-looking gentleman, with a good-natured face,
coming down the street, and she resolved to make a beginning with
him. He couldn't say much more than no to her, and she placed
herself in a position to accost him. But when he came near
enough, her courage all oozed out, and she let him pass without
speaking to him.
"What a fool I am!" exclaimed she to herself when he had passed.
"I shall never do anything in this way. There comes another
gentleman who looks as though he had a sweet tooth; at any rate,
he seems as good-natured as a pound of sugar. I will certainly
try him."
Her heart pounded against her ribs as though it had been worked
by a forty-horse engine--poor girl. It was a great undertaking to
her; quite as great as taking a six-story granite warehouse,
piling it full of merchandise from cellar to attic, and
announcing himself as ready for business, to a child of a larger
growth. Everything seemed to hang on the issues of that
tremendous moment.
"Buy some candy?" said she, in tremulous tones, her great,
swelling heart almost choking her utterance.
"No, child. I don't want any," replied the gentleman, kindly, as
he glanced at the tray on which the candy had been so invitingly
"It is very nice," stammered Katy; "and perhaps your children at
home would like some, if you do not."
Bravo, Katy! That was very well done, though the gentleman was an
old bachelor, and could not appreciate the full force of your
"Are you sure it is very nice?" asked the gentleman, with a
benevolent smile, when he had laughed heartily at Katy's jumping
"I know it is," replied the little candy merchant, very
"Then you may give me six sticks;" and he threw a fourpence on
her tray.
Six sticks! Katy was astonished at the magnitude of her first
commercial transaction. Visions of wealth, a fine house, and silk
dresses for her mother and herself, danced through her excited
brain, and she thought that her grandfather, the great Liverpool
merchant, would not have been ashamed of her if he had been
present to witness that magnificent operation.
"Have you any paper to wrap it up in?" asked the gentleman.
Here was an emergency for which Katy had not provided. Her
grandest expectations had not extended beyond the sale of one
stick at a time, and she was not prepared for such a rush of
trade. However, she tore off a piece from one of the white sheets
at the bottom of the tray, wrapped up the six sticks as nicely as
she could, and handed them to the gentleman, who then left her to
find another customer.
Katy, elated by her first success, ran home as fast as she could
to procure some more white paper, of which she had a dozen sheets
that had been given her by a friend. It was in the back room, so
that she did not disturb her mother, choosing to astonish her
with the whole story of her success at noon.
Katy reached Washington Street once more. She had lost all her
timidity, and would not have feared to accost the governor, if
she had met him, and request him to purchase a cent's worth of
molasses candy.
"Buy some candy?" said she to the first person who passed near
"No!" was the prompt and emphatic answer of the gentleman
"It is very nice," suggested Katy.
"Get out of my may," growled the gentleman, and the little candy
merchant deemed it prudent to heed the command.
She was nettled by this rude reception, and would have been
disposed to resent it, if there had been any way for her to do
so. She had not yet learned to bear up against the misfortunes of
trade, and her eye followed the sour gentleman far down the
street. Why should he treat her in such a rude and unkind manner?
What would he say if she should tell him that her grandfather was
a great Liverpool merchant, lived in a big house, and had lots of
servants to wait upon him? She was as good as he was, any day.
"Give me a stick of candy," said a nice little girl with a silk
dress on, whom a lady was holding by the hand, at the same time
placing a cent on her tray.
Katy started at the words, and reproved herself for her want of
meekness. She might, perhaps, have sold half a dozen sticks of
candy while she had been watching the sour gentleman, and
persuading herself that she had been very badly used. She tore
off a piece of paper, in which she wrapped up the candy for the
purchaser, and handed it to her.
"Thank you," said she, as she picked up the copper, and
transferred it to her pocket.
"Your candy looks very nice," added the lady evidently pleased
with Katy's polite manners.
"It is very nice, ma'am."
"Have you sold much to-day?"
"No, ma'am; I have but just come out."
"It looks so good, I will take half a dozen sticks for the
children at home."
"Thank you, ma'am; you are very kind," replied Katy; and her
nimble fingers had soon made a nice little parcel for the lady,
who gave her a fourpence.
Here was another avalanche of good fortune, and the little candy
merchant could hardly believe her senses. At this rate she would
soon become a wholesale dealer in the article.
"Buy some candy?" said she, addressing the next person she met.
"Buy some candy?" she continued, turning to the next.
And so she went from one to another, and no one seemed to have
the least relish for molasses candy. She walked till she came to
State Street, and sold only three sticks. She begun to be a
little disheartened, for the success she had met with at the
beginning had raised her anticipations so high that she was not
disposed to be content with moderate sales. While she was
standing at the corner of State Street, waiting impatiently for
customers, she saw a man with a basket of apples enter a store.
She crossed the street to observe what he did in the store, in
order, if possible, to get an idea of his mode of doing business.
She saw him offer his apples to the clerks and others in the
shop, and she was surprised and gratified to see that nearly
every person purchased one or more of them. In her heart she
thanked the apple man for the hint he had unconsciously afforded
her, and resolved to profit by his example.
Now that commerce was her business, she was disposed to make it
her study; and as she reasoned over the matter, she came to
understand why she found so few buyers in the streets. Ladies and
gentlemen did not like to be seen eating candy in the street,
neither would many of them want to put it into their pockets,
where it would melt and stick to their clothes. They would eat it
in their shops and houses; and with this new idea she was
encouraged to make a new effort. Walking along till she came to a
store where there appeared to be several clerks she entered.
"Buy some candy?" she said, addressing a salesman near the
window, as she raised up her ware so that he could see them.
The clerk made no reply, but coming round from behind the
counter, he rudely took her arm, opened the door, and pushed her
into the street. Katy's cheek burned with indignation at this
unprovoked assault, and she wished for the power of ten men, that
she might punish the ill-natured fellow as he deserved. But it
was all for the best, for, in pushing her out of the shop, the
clerk threw her against a portly gentleman on the street, whose
soft, yielding form alone saved her from being tumbled into the
gutter. He showed no disposition to resent the assault upon his
obesity, and kindly caught her in his arms.
"What is the matter my dear?" said the gentleman, in soothing
"That man pushed me out of the store," replied Katy, bursting
into tears, for she was completely overcome by the indignity that
had been cast upon her.
"Perhaps you didn't behave well."
"I am sure I did. I only asked him to buy some candy: and he
shoved me right out the door, just as though I had been a dog."
"Well, well, don't cry, my dear; you seem to be a very
well-behaved little girl, and I wonder at finding you in such low
"My mother is sick, and I am trying to earn something to support
her," sobbed Katy, who, with her independent notions of trade in
general, and of the candy trade in particular, would not have
revealed this humiliating truth, except under the severe pressure
of a wounded spirit.
"Poor child!" exclaimed the portly gentleman, thrusting his hand
deep down into his pocket, and pulling up a handful of silver.
"Here is half a dollar for you, for I know you tell the truth."
"O, no, sir; I can't take money as a gift."
The gentleman looked astonished, and attempted to persuade her;
but she steadily protested against receiving his money as a gift.
"You are a proud little girl, my dear."
"I am poor and proud; but I will sell you some candy."
"Well, give me half a dollar's worth."
"I haven't got so much. I have only fourteen cents' worth left."
"Give me that, then."
Katy wrapped up the remainder of her stock in a piece of paper,
and handed it to the gentleman, who in payment threw the
half-dollar on the tray.
"I can't change it."
"Never mind the change;" and the fat gentleman hurried away.
Katy was so utterly astounded to find she had disposed of her
entire stock, that she did not have the presence of mind to
follow him, and the half dollar had to be placed in her treasury.
She did not regard it with so much pride and pleasure as she did
the two four-pence, and the four coppers, for there was something
unmercantile about the manner in which it had come into her
possession. She could not feel satisfied with herself, as she
walked towards home, till she had argued the matter, and effected
a compromise between her pride and her poverty. She had sold
candy for the money, and the gentleman had paid her over three
cents a stick--rather above the market value of the article; but
there was no other way to make the transaction correspond with
her ideas of propriety.
Her work was done for the forenoon, though she had plenty of
candy at home. It was now eleven o'clock, and she had not time to
sell out another stock before dinner. As she walked up the
street, on her way home, she encountered Master Simon Sneed, who,
with the dignity and stateliness of a merchant prince, was
lugging a huge bundle of goods to the residence of some customer.
"I am glad to see you, Simon," said Katy. "Have you seen your
friend the mayor?"
"I am sorry to inform you, Katy, that a press of business has
prevented my calling on his honor."
"I am sorry for that. I am afraid I shall never see the watch
"Depend upon it, you shall. I pledge you my honor that I will use
every exertion to recover the lost treasure. Just now our firm
require the undivided attention of all in the store."
"I told Mrs. Gordon all about it, and she promised to speak to
the mayor."
"It was unnecessary to trouble her with the matter; my influence
with the mayor will be quite sufficient."
"I dare say it will; but when shall you see him?"
"Very soon, be patient, Katy."
"Mrs. Gordon promised to take me to the mayor to-day, and tell
him all about it."
"Take you to the mayor!" exclaimed Master simon.
"That's what she said."
"You will be afraid of him, and not able to tell your story."
"No, I guess I shan't. I will tell him that I have mentioned the
matter to you."
"Perhaps you had better not; his honor, though we have been quite
intimate, may not remember my name. But I must leave you now, for
the firm gets very uneasy in my absence."
Simon shouldered his bundle again, and moved off, and Katy walked
towards home, wondering why a person of so much importance to the
Messrs. Sands & Co. should be permitted to degrade himself by
carrying bundles. When she got home, she found her mother in a
very cheerful frame of mind, the result of her reading and
"Well. Katy, you come back with an empty tray have you sold all
your candy?" asked Mrs. Redburn, as she entered the room.
"Yes, mother, every stick. I have brought back sixty-six cents,"
replied Katy, emptying her pocket on the bed.
"Sixty-six cents! But you had only thirty sticks of candy."
"You must not blame me for what I have done, mother; I could not
help it;" and she proceeded to narrate all the particulars of her
forenoon's occupation.
Mrs. Redburn was annoyed at the incident with the fat gentleman;
more so than by the rudeness to which Katy had been subjected.
The little merchant was so elated at her success, that her mother
could not find it in her heart to cast a damper upon her spirits
by a single reproach. Perhaps her morning's reflections had
subdued her pride so that she did not feel disposed to do so.
After dinner Katy hastened at once to Temple Street again. To her
great disappointment she found that Mrs. Gordon and her daughter
had been suddenly called to Baltimore by the death of one of her
husband's near relatives. But the kind lady had not forgotten
her, and that was a great consolation. Michael gave her a note,
directed to the mayor, which he instructed her to deliver that
With the assistance of Michael, she found the house of the mayor,
and though her heart beat violently she resolutely rang the bell
at the door.
"Is the mayor in?" asked she of the sleek servant man that
answered the summons.
"Well, suppose he is; what of it?" replied the servant, who could
not possibly have been aware that Katy's grandfather was a rich
Liverpool merchant, or he would have spoken more civilly to her.
"I want to see him."
"He don't see little brats like you," answered the servant,
shutting the door in her face.
Katy was indignant. She wished a dozen things all at once; and
among other things she wished Master Simon Sneed had been there,
that he might report the circumstance to his friend the mayor.
What was to be done? It was mean to treat her in that shabby
manner, and she would not stand it? She would not, that she
wouldn't! Grasping the bell handle with a courageous hand, she
gave a pull that must have astonished the occupants of the
servants' hall, and led them to believe that some distinguished
character had certainly come. The sleek man servant reappeared at
the door, ready to make his lowest bow to the great personage,
when he beheld the flashing eye of Katy.
"How dare you ring that bell again?" snarled he.
"I want to see the mayor, I have a note for him from Mrs. Gordon,
and I won't go away till I see him."
"From Mrs. Gordon! Why didn't you say so? You may come in."
Katy entered at this invitation, and the man bade her wait in the
hall till he informed the mayor of her errand. She was not a
little pleased with the victory she had gained, and felt quite
equal, after it, to the feat of facing the chief magistrate of
the city. While she stood there, a little boy having in his hand
a stick of molasses candy, with which he had contrived
plentifully to bedaub his face, came out of the adjoining room,
and surveyed her carefully from head to foot. Katy looked at the
candy with attention, for it looked just like one of the sticks
she had sold that forenoon. The little fellow who was not more
than five or six years of age, seemed to have a hearty relish for
the article, and as he turned it over, Katy assured herself that
it was a portion of her stock.
"My pa brought home lots of candy," said the little fellow, after
he had satisfied himself with the survey of Katy's person.
"Do you like it?" asked she, willing to cultivate his
"Don't I, though!"
"Where did your father get it?"
"He bought it of a little girl; she was poor and proud," replied
the little gentleman, transferring half an inch of the candy to
his mouth.
"Dear me!" exclaimed Katy.
But her conversation was interrupted by the return of the
servant, who directed Katy to follow him up-stairs.
Katy followed the servant man, whose name was John, up-stairs;
but at the first turn he stopped, and begged her not to mention
that he had shut the door upon her.
"I don't know," said Katy. "I gave you no reason to treat me in
that ugly manner."
"You didn't, but, you see, I thought you was some beggar, coming
to disturb his honor."
"Do I look like a beggar?" asked Katy.
"Indeed you don't; that was a bad blunder of mine. If you mention
it, I shall lose my place."
"Well, I won't say a word then; but I hope you will learn better
manners next time."
"Thank you, miss; and be sure I'll treat you like a lady next
John then conducted her up-stairs into a room the walls of which
were almost covered with books. Katy thought what a wise man the
mayor must be, for she had never seen so many books before in her
life, and took it for granted the mayor had read them all. As she
entered the apartment she saw a fat gentleman sitting at the
desk, very busy examining a great pile of papers. When he turned
his head, Katy was not much surprised to see that it was the nice
gentleman who had given her half a dollar for fourteen cents'
worth of candy.
"Ah, my dear, is it you!" exclaimed the mayor, as he recognized
the little candy merchant.
"Yes, sir; if you please, it is me," stammered Katy, making her
obeisance, and feeling very mush confused, for it was the first
time she had ever come into the presence of a great man, and she
could not exactly tell whether she ought to get down on her
knees, as she had read that people did when they approached a
king, or to remain standing.
"Well my dear, what is your name?" continued the mayor.
"Katy Redburn, if you please, sir," replied Katy with another
"I am glad you have come to me with this business, Katy. Mrs.
Gordon speaks very handsomely of you."
"She is very kind, sir."
"You have lost your watch--have you, Katy?"
"My father's watch, if you please, sir," and having gained a
little confidence from the kind tones of the mayor, she proceeded
to tell him the whole story of her adventure in the pawnbroker's
The mayor listened attentively to the artless recital, and
promised to do all in his power to regain the watch.
"Were you alone, Katy, when you went to the pawnbroker's?"
"No, sir; there was one of your friends with me," replied she
with a simple smile.
"One of my friends?"
"Yes, sir; and he promised to see you about it."
"I am afraid you have been imposed upon, Katy."
"No, sir; he has often spoken to me about his friend the mayor."
"But who was he?"
"Master Simon Sneed."
"Sneed? Sneed?" mused the mayor.
"Yes, sir; Master Simon Sneed."
"Master? What is he? A schoolmaster?"
"O, no, sir. Everybody calls him master. He keeps store."
"Sneed? I never heard the name before. Where is his store?"
"In Washington Street. It says Sands & Co. on the sign."
"O, you mean the boy that makes the fires, sweeps out, and does
the errands. I remember him now," said the mayor, laughing
heartily at poor Katy's account of Simon. "I never heard his name
before; but he is the oldest boy of his age I ever saw."
"He was very kind to me."
"No doubt he is a very good boy; but I supposed from your account
of him that he was a member of the firm."
"Master Simon says the firm would not be able to get along
without him," replied Katy, who began to have some doubts whether
Simon was so great a man as he had represented himself to be.
"Master Simon is very kind to stay with them then, and I hope the
Messrs. Sands will properly appreciate his merit. Now, Katy,"
continued the mayor, who had been writing while he questioned his
visitor, "you may take this note to the City Hall and deliver it
to the city marshal, he will do all he can to recover your lost
"Thank you, sir," replied Katy, as she took the note.
"Now, good-by, Katy, and I hope you will always be as good as
your candy is."
"I will try; good-by, sir;" and she left the library and passed
John let her out very civilly and seemed very grateful to her
that she had not exposed his rudeness. She hastened to the City
Hall, sure almost of recovering the watch, and gladdening her
mother with the sight of it on her return home.
Simon Sneed, after parting with Katy, had felt a little uneasy in
relation to the watch. He was jealous of his own good credit, for
he foresaw that Katy could not very well avoid telling the mayor
that he had been with her at the time of the unfortunate
transaction. Besides, he did not exactly like the idea of Katy's
going to the mayor at all. Katy Redburn going to see the mayor!
By and by everybody would know his honor, and there would be no
glory in being acquainted with him!
His conscience seemed to reprove him because he had done nothing
towards the recovery of the watch. What would his friend the
mayor say if Katy should happen to tell him of his neglect?
"Here I am," said Master Simon to himself, as he entered the
store, "a person of influence, enjoying the friendship of the
chief magistrate of the city and have not exerted my influence,
or used my powerful friend, to redress the injury which this poor
girl has received. I will correct my error at once, for if the
mayor should happen to invite me to dinner some time, very likely
he would reproach me for my neglect."
Having thus resolved to preserve his credit with the chief
magistrate of the city, there was fortunately a lull in the waves
of the Messrs. Sand & Co.'s affairs which enabled him to be
absented for half an hour without serious injury to their
business. He hastened to the pawnbroker's at which the robbery
had been committed.
"I presume you know me, sir?" said Simon.
"I haven't that honor," replied the broker.
"Perhaps you may be able to recall the circumstance of a little
girl presenting herself here with a silver watch."
"Well, I do."
"I was with her."
"Then I suppose you helped her steal it."
"Such an insinuation, sir, is unworthy a gentleman, I have come,
sir, with a benevolent purpose, as I came before. In half an hour
the history of that transaction will be conveyed to the mayor
who, allow me to inform you, is my friend."
"Your friend!" sneered the broker who was not particularly
impressed by the magnificent manners and the magnificent speech
of Master Simon.
"The little girl has just gone with a note from Mrs. Gordon of
Temple Street to seek redress of the mayor. I doubt not you will
be prosecuted at once. You have an opportunity to save yourself."
"What do you mean by that, you young puppy?" said the broker,
angrily. "Do you mean to say I stole the watch?"
"By no means; only that you took what did not belong to you,"
replied Master Simon, blandly.
"Get out of my shop!"
"Understand me, sir; I come as your friend."
"You are a fool, I believe."
"You have an undoubted right to your opinion, as I have to mine;
but if you do not restore the watch within half an hour, you will
be arrested for stealing--I beg your pardon, for taking what did
not belong to you."
There was something in the earnest manner of Simon which arrested
the attention of the broker, in spite of the former's high-flown
speech. He was satisfied that something had been done, and he was
disposed to avoid any unpleasant consequences.
"I spoke to a policeman about the watch," said the man. "I told
him I had it, and if he found that such a watch had been stolen,
it could be found at my shop."
"And if he did not find that watch had been stolen, you meant to
keep it yourself," answered Master Simon, whose earnestness made
him forget for a moment to use his high-flown words.
"Keep a civil tongue in your head," growled the broker. "I
notified the police that I had it; that's enough."
"Perhaps it is I will ask my friend the mayor about it;" and
Simon moved towards the door.
"Stop a moment."
"Can't stop now."
"Here! I will go up to the city marshal with you. May be I made a
mistake in keeping the watch; but if I did, it was only to
prevent it from falling into the hands of some one less
scrupulous than myself."
"Do I look like a thief?" asked Master Simon, indignantly.
"It don't do to judge by appearances," replied the broker,
locking his shop door, and walking towards the City Hall with
Simon. "There are some very respectable thieves about."
Master Simon Sneed was satisfied with this explanation. He did
not care to quarrel with any one who acknowledged his
respectability. In a few moments they reached the City Hall, and
ascended the stone steps to the vestibule. As they did so, Katy
entered from the opposite door.
"How glad I am to find you, Master Simon! exclaimed she. "Can you
tell me where the city marshal's office is?"
"Here it is, Katy," replied Simon, pointing to the door. "But
what are you going to do?"
"I have got a note for the city marshal. The mayor gave it to
"You hear that, sir," said Master Simon to the broker, with
becoming dignity. "This, Katy, is the man that has your silver
watch; and he has consented to deliver it to the rightful owner."
"Let me see the note," said the broker.
"No, I won't," replied Katy, pretty sharply. "You are a naughty
man, and I won't trust you with it."
"But I will give you, the watch."
"Give it to me, and then I will show you the note," replied Katy,
who was thinking more of getting the precious relic than of
having the broker punished.
The broker took the watch from his pocket and handed it to her,
and in return she produced the mayor's note.
"I suppose there is no need of your delivering this note now?"
continued the broker, with a cunning smile.
"No; I don't care anything about it, now that I have got the
watch," replied Katy, rejoiced beyond measure to recover the
"Well, then, I am somewhat acquainted with the marshal, and I
will hand him the note, and explain the circumstances. He will be
perfectly satisfied."
Katy didn't care whether he was satisfied or not, so long as she
had the watch. But the broker entered the marshal's office, and
they could not see him put the note in his pocket.
"I am so glad I got it!" exclaimed Katy.
"I doubt whether you could have recovered it if I had not used my
influence in your favor," remarked Simon, complacently. "I went
to his office, and assured him my friend the mayor had already
taken the matter in hand. I talked pretty severely to him, and he
got frightened. After all, the best way is to use very pointed
language to these fellows."
"I thank you very much, Master Simon, and I hope I shall be able
to do something for you some time."
But Messrs. Sands & Co.'s affairs were suffering, perhaps, and
Simon hastened back to the store, and Katy ran home to cheer her
mother with the sight of the recovered relic.
Now that she had recovered the precious watch Katy had nothing to
engage her attention but the business of selling candy. The
success that had attended her forenoon's exertions was gratifying
beyond her expectations, and she felt as though she had already
solved the problem; that she was not only willing but able to
support her mother. She had originated a great idea, and she was
proud of it.
Just as soon, therefore, as she had told her mother all about the
recovery of the watch, she prepared another tray of candy,
resolved to sell the whole of it before she returned. Her mother
tried to induce her to stay in the house and rest herself, but
her impatience to realize the fruits of her grand idea would not
permit her to remain inactive a single hour.
"Now, mother, I shall sell all this candy before dark; so don't
be uneasy about me. I am going to make lots of money, and you
shall have everything you want in a few weeks," said Katy, as she
put on her bonnet.
"I wish you would stay at home, and rest yourself; you have done
enough for one day."
"I am not tired a bit, mother; I feel just as if I could walk a
hundred miles."
"That's because you have got a new notion in your head. I am
afraid you will be sick, and then what should we do?"
"O, I shan't get sick; I promise you I won't," replied Katy, as
she left the room.
Unfortunately for the little candy merchant it was Wednesday
afternoon, and as the schools did not keep, there were a great
many boys in the street, and many of them were very rude, naughty
boys. When she passed up the court, some of them called out to
her, and asked her where she was going with all that candy. She
took no notice of them, for they spoke very rudely, and were no
friends of hers. Among them was Johnny Grippen, whose
acquaintance the reader made on the pier of South Boston bridge.
This young ruffian led half a dozen others down the court in
pursuit of her, for possibly they were not satisfied with the
cavalier manner in which Katy had treated them.
"Where are you going with all that candy?" repeated the juvenile
bully, when he overtook her in Essex Street.
"I am going to sell it," replied Katy, finding she could not
"Give us a junk, will you?" said Johnny.
"I can't give it away; I am going to sell it, to get money for my
"Won't you give a feller a piece?"
"I can't now; perhaps I'll give you some another time."
Katy's heart beat violently, for she was very much alarmed,
knowing that Johnny had not followed her for nothing. As she made
her firm but conciliatory reply, she moved on, hoping they would
not attempt to annoy her. It was a vain hope, for Johnny kept
close to her side, his eyes fixed wistfully on the tempting array
of sweets she carried.
"Come, don't be stingy, Katy," continued Johnny.
"I don't mean to be; but I don't think I owe you anything,"
replied Katy, gathering courage in her desperate situation.
"What do you mean by that?" demanded the little ruffian, as he
placed himself in front of her, and thus prevented her further
"Don't stop me; I'm in a hurry," said Katy.
"Gi' me some candy, then."
"No, I won't!" answered Katy, losing her patience.
"Won't you?"
Johnny made a dive at the tray, with the intention of securing a
portion of the candy; but Katy adroitly dodged the movement, and
turning up a narrow alley way, ran off. Johnny was not to be
balked, and followed her; and then she found she had made a bad
mistake in getting off the street, where there were no passers-by
to interfere in her favor.
"Johnny!" shouted one of the bully's companions. "Johnny, Tom
Howard is coming."
"Let him come!" replied Johnny, doggedly.
He did not half like the insinuation conveyed in the words of his
associates; for to tell him, under the circumstances, that Tommy
was coming, was as much as to say he was afraid of him. Now, as
we have said, Johnny Grippen was a "fighting character," and had
a reputation to maintain. He gloried in the name of being able to
whip any boy of his size in the neighborhood. He was always ready
to fight, and had, perhaps, given some hard knocks in his time;
but he sustained his character rather by his talent for bullying,
than by any conquests he had won. On the whole he was a
miserable, contemptible little bruiser whom no decent boy could
love or respect. He talked so big about "black eyes," "bloody
noses" and "smashed heads," that few boys cared to dispute his
title to the honors he had assumed. Probably some who felt able
to contest the palm with him, did not care to dirty their fingers
upon the bullying cub.
Sensible people, whether men or boys, invariably despise the
"fighting character," be he young or old. Nine times out of ten
he is both a knave and a fool, a coward and a bully.
On the other hand, Tommy Howard was one of those hearty,
whole-souled boys, who are the real lions of the playground. He
was not a "fighting character;" and being a sensible boy, he had
a hearty contempt for Johnny Grippen. He was not afraid of him,
and though he never went an inch out of his way to avoid a fight
with him, it so happened they had never fought. He was entirely
indifferent to his threats, and had no great opinion of his
courage. Johnny had "stumped" him to fight, and even taken off
his coat and dared him to come; but Tommy would laugh at him,
tell him to put on his coat or he would catch cold; and, contrary
to the general opinion among boys, no one ever thought the less
of him for the true courage he exhibited on these occasions.
Johnny did not like to be told that Tommy was coming, for it
reminded him that, as the king bully of the neighborhood, one of
his subjects was unconquered and rebellious. But Johnny had
discretion--and bullies generally have it. He did not like that
cool, independent way of the refractory vassal; it warned him to
be cautious.
"What's the matter, Katy?" asked Tommy, as he came with quick
pace up the court, without deigning to cast even a glance at the
ruffian who menaced her.
"Stand by, fellers, and see fair play, and I'll lick him now,"
said Johnny, in a low tone, to his companions.
"He won't let me go," replied Katy, pointing to her assailant.
"Go ahead, Katy; don't mind him."
"Won't you give me some candy?" said Johnny, stepping up before
her again.
"Go ahead, Katy," repeated Tommy, placing himself between her and
the bully. "Don't mind him, Katy."
As she advanced, Johnny pushed forward, and made another dive at
the tray, but Katy's champion caught him by the arm and pulled
him away.
"You mind out!" growled the bully, doubling up his fists, and
placing himself in the most approved attitude, in front of the
unwhipped vassal.
"Go ahead, Katy; clear out as fast as you can," said Tommy, who,
though his bosom swelled with indignation, still preserved his
wonted coolness; and it was evident to the excited spectators
that he did not intend to "mind out."
"Come on, if you want to fight!" shouted Johnny, brandishing his
"I don't want to fight; but you are a mean, dirty blackguard, or
you wouldn't have treated a girl like that," replied Tommy,
standing as stiff as a stake before the bully.
"Say that again, and I'll black your eye for you."
"Once is enough, if you heard me; but I will tell your father
about it."
"Will you? Just say that again."
Somehow, it often happens that bullies want a person to say a
thing over twice, from which we infer that they must be very deaf
or very stupid. Tommy would not repeat the offensive remark, and
Johnny's supporters began to think he was not half so anxious to
fight as he seemed, which was certainly true. I have no doubt, if
they had been alone, he would have found a convenient excuse for
retiring from the field, leaving it unsullied by a black eye or a
bloody nose.
My young friends will excuse me from digressing so far as to say
that, in more than a dozen years with boys, in school and out, I
have never heard of such a thing as two boys getting up a fight
and having it out alone. There must be a crowd of bruisers and
"scallewags" around, to keep up the courage of the combatants.
Therefore, those who look on are just as bad as those who fight,
for without their presence the fight could not be carried
Tommy Howard had said all he had to say, and was therefore ready
to depart. He turned to do so, and walked several steps down the
alley, though he kept one eye over his shoulder to guard against
"Hit him, Johnny!" cried one of the vagabond troops that
followed in the train of the bully.
"He darsen't fight," replied Johnny.
"Nor you, nuther," added another of the supporters.
This was too much for Johnny. It cut him to the quick, and he
could not stand it. If he did not thrash Tommy now, his
reputation would be entirely ruined.
"Darsen't I?" exclaimed he. "Come back here;" but as Tommy did
not come, he ran up behind him, and aimed a blow at the side of
his head.
Katy's intrepid defender, who had perhaps read in some Fourth of
July oration that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,"
was not to be surprised, and facing about, he warded off the
blow. Johnny's imperiled reputation rendered him desperate. He
had gone too far to recede, and he went into action with all the
energy and skill of a true bruiser. Tommy was now fully roused,
and his blows, which were strictly in self-defense, fell rapidly
and heavily on the head of his assailant. But I am not going to
give my young readers the particulars of the fight; and I would
not have let Tommy engage in such a scene, were it not to show up
Johnny as he was, and finish the portrait of him which I had
outlined; to show the difference between the noble, generous,
brave, and true-hearted boy, and the little bully, whom all my
young friends have seen and despised.
In something less than two minutes, Johnny Grippen, after
muttering "foul play," backed out with bloody nose, as completely
whipped, and as thoroughly "cowed down," as though he had been
fighting with a royal Bengal tiger. His supremacy was at an end,
and there was danger that some other bold fellow might take it
into his head to thrash the donkey after the lion's skin had been
stripped from his shoulders.
"If you are satisfied now, I'll go about my business," said
Tommy, as he gazed with mingled pity and contempt upon his
crest-fallen assailant.
"You don't fight fair," grumbled Johnny, who could not account
for his defeat in any other way. "If you're a mind to fight fair,
I'll try it again with you some time."
"I don't fight for the fun of it. I only fight when some cowardly
bully like you comes at me, and I can't help myself. When you
feel like whipping me again, you needn't stop to let me know it
beforehand. But I will tell you this much: if you ever put your
hand on Katy Redburn, or meddle with her in any way, I promise to
pound you as handsomely as I know how, fair or foul, the very
next time I meet you, if it isn't for seven years. Just bear that
in mind."
Johnny made no reply; he was not in a condition to make a reply,
and the victor in the conquest departed, leaving the bully to
explain his defeat as best he could to his admirers and
"He did not hurt you--did he?" asked Katy, as Tommy joined her at
the foot of the alley, where she had been anxiously waiting the
result of the encounter.
"Not a bit, Katy. He talks very loud, but he is a coward. I'm
sorry I had to thrash him though I think it will do him good."
"I was afraid he'd hurt you. You were very kind to save me from
him, Tommy. I shall never forget you, as long as I live, and I
hope I shall be able to do something for you one of these days."
"Oh, don't mind that, Katy. He is an ugly fellow, and I wouldn't
stand by and see him insult a girl. But I must go now. I told
Johnny if he ever meddled with you again I should give him some;
if he does, just let me know."
"I hope he won't again," replied Katy, as Tommy moved towards
This was Katy's first day in mercantile life; it had been full of
incidents, and she feared her path might be a thorny one. But her
light heart soon triumphed over doubts and fears, and when she
reached Washington Street, she was as enthusiastic as ever, and
as ready for a trade.
"Buy some candy?" said Katy to the first gentleman she met.
He did not even deign to glance at her; and five or six attempts
to sell a stick of candy were failures; but when she remembered
the success that had followed her disappointment in the morning,
she did not lose her courage. Finding that people in the street
would not buy, she entered a shop where the clerks seemed to be
at leisure, though she did not do so without thinking of the rude
manner in which she had been ejected from a store in the
"Buy some candy?" said she to a good-natured young gentleman, who
was leaning over his counter waiting for a customer.
"How do you sell it?"
"Cent a stick; it is very nice. I sold fourteen sticks of it to
the mayor this forenoon. He said it was good."
"You don't say so? Did he give you a testimonial?"
"No; he gave me half a dollar."
The clerk laughed heartily at Katy's misapprehension of his word,
and his eye twinkled with mischief. It was plain that he was not
a great admirer of molasses candy, and that he only wanted to
amuse himself at Katy's expense.
"You know what they do with quack medicines--don't you?"
"Yes, I do; some folks are fools enough to take them," replied
Katy, smartly.
"That's a fact; but you don't understand me. Dr. Swindlehanger,
round the corner, would give the mayor a hundred dollars to say
his patent elixir is good. Now, if you could only get the mayor's
name on a paper setting forth the virtues of your candy, I dare
say you could sell a thousand sticks in a day. Why don't you ask
him for such a paper?"
"I don't want any paper, except to wrap up my candy in. But you
don't want to buy any candy, I see;" and Katy moved towards some
more clerks at the other end of the store.
"Yes, I do; stop a minute. I want to buy six sticks for my
"For what?"
"For my grandchildren."
"You are making fun of me," said Katy, who could see this, though
the young man was so pleasant and so funny, she could not be
offended with him. "I don't believe your mother would like it, if
she should hear you tell such a monstrous story."
The young man bit his lip. Perhaps he had a kind mother who had
taught him never to tell a lie, even in jest. He quickly
recovered his humor, however, though it was evident that Katy's
rebuke had not been without its effect.
"For how much will you sell me six sticks?" continued the clerk.
"For six cents."
"But that is the retail price; when you sell goods at wholesale
you ought not to ask so much for them."
"You shall have them for five cents then," replied Katy, struck
with the force of the suggestion.
"I can't afford to give so much as that. I am a poor man. I have
to go to the theater twice a week, and that costs me a dollar.
Then a ride Sunday afternoon costs me three dollars. So you see I
don't have much money to spend upon luxuries."
"I hope you don't go out to ride Sundays," said Katy.
"But I do."
"What does your mother say to it?"
The clerk bit his lip again. He did not like these allusions to
his mother, who perhaps lived far away in the country, and had
taught him to "remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy." Very
likely his conscience smote him, as he thought of her and her
blessed teachings in the far-off home of his childhood.
"I will give you two cents," said the clerk.
"I can't take that; it would hardly pay for the molasses, to say
nothing of firewood and labor."
"Call it three cents, then."
"No, sir; the wholesale price is five cents for six sticks."
"But I am poor."
"You wouldn't be poor if you saved up your money, and kept the
Sabbath. Your mother----"
"There, there! that's enough. I will take a dozen sticks!"
exclaimed the young man, impatiently interrupting her.
"A dozen?"
"Yes, a dozen, and there are twelve cents."
"But I only ask ten."
"No matter, give me the candy, and take the money," he replied,
fearful, it may be, that she would again allude to his mother.
Katy counted out the sticks, wrapped them up in a paper, and put
the money in her pocket. If she had stopped at the door to study
the young man's face, she might have detected a shadow of
uneasiness and anxiety upon it. He was a very good-hearted, but
rather dissolute, young man, and the allusions she had made to
his mother burned like fire in his heart, for he had neglected
her counsels, and wandered from the straight road in which she
had taught him to walk. If she could have followed him home, and
into the solitude of his chamber, she could have seen him open
his desk, and write a long letter to his distant mother--a duty
he had too long neglected. We may not follow the fortunes of this
young man, but if we could, we might see how a few words, fitly
spoken, even by the lips of an innocent youth; will sometimes
produce a powerful impression on the character; will sometimes
change the whole current of a life, and reach forward to the last
day of existence.
Katy, all unconscious of the great work she had done,
congratulated herself on this success, and wished she might find
a few more such customers. Glancing into the shop windows as she
passed along, to ascertain whether there was a good prospect for
her, she soon found an inviting field. It was a crockery ware
store that she entered this time, and there were several persons
there who seemed not to be very busy.
"Buy some candy?" said she, presenting the tray to the first
person she met.
"Go home and wash your face," was the ill-natured response.
Was it possible she had come out with a dirty face? No; she had
washed herself the last thing she had done. It is true her
clothes were shabby, there was many a patch and darn upon her
dress, and its colors had faded out like the "last rose of
summer;" but then the dress was clean.
"Buy some candy?" said she to another, with a sudden resolution
not to be disturbed by the rudeness of those she addressed.
He took a stick, and threw down a cent, without a word. One more
did her a similar favor, and she left the store well satisfied
with the visit. Pretty soon she came to a large piano-forte
manufactory, where she knew that a great many men were employed.
She went up-stairs to the counting-room, where she sold three
sticks, and was about to enter the work-room, when a sign, "No
admittance except on business," confronted her. Should she go on?
Did the sign refer to her? She had business there, but perhaps
they would not be willing to admit that her business was very
urgent, and she dreaded the indignity of being turned out again.
Her mother had told her there was always a right way and a wrong
way. It certainly was not right to enter in the face of a
positive prohibition, and at last she decided to return to the
office and ask permission to visit the workshop.
"Please may I go into the workshop?" said she, addressing the man
who had purchased the candy.
"Go in? why not?" replied he, placing his pen behind his ear, and
looking at her with a smile of curiosity.
"Why, it says on the door, `No admittance except on business.'"
"So it does. Well, I declare, you have got an amount of
conscience beyond your station. No one thinks of taking any
notice of that sign. Peddlers and apple men go in without a
"I thought you wouldn't let people go in."
"We don't like to have visitors there, for they sometimes do
injury, and generally take off the attention of the men from
their work. But you have got so much conscience about the matter,
that you shall not only go in, but I will go with you, and
introduce you."
"Thank you, sir; I won't give you all that trouble. I can
introduce myself."
But the bookkeeper led the way to the door, and they entered a
large room in which a great many men were busily at work.
"Here is a very honest little girl," said her friend, "who has
the very best molasses candy I ever ate. If any of you have a
sweet tooth, or any children at home, I advise you to patronize
The bookkeeper laughed, and the workmen laughed, as they began to
feel in their pockets for loose change. It was evident that the
friendly introduction was to be of great service to her. She
passed along from one man to another, and almost every one of
them bought two or three sticks of candy, and before she had been
to all of them her stock was entirely exhausted. Katy was
astonished at her good fortune, and the men were all exceedingly
good-natured. They seemed disposed to make a pleasant thing of
her visit, and to give her a substantial benefit.
"Now, my little girl," said the bookkeeper, "when you wish to
visit the workshop again, you may enter without further
permission; and I am sure the men will all be very glad to see
"But I want some of that candy," said one of the workmen. "My
little girl would jump to get a stick."
"Then she shall have some," replied Katy. "for I will go home and
get some more;" and she left the building and hastened home for a
further supply of the popular merchandise.
"O mother! I have sold out all my candy, and I want a lot more!"
exclaimed she, as she rushed into the room, full of excitement
and enthusiasm.
"Be calm, child; you will throw yourself into a fever," replied
Mrs. Redburn. "You must learn to take things more easily."
"O dear! I have only twenty sticks left. I wish I had a hundred,
for I am sure I could sell them."
"Perhaps it is fortunate you have no more."
"But I must make some more to-night for to-morrow."
"Don't drive round so, Katy. Be reasonable, and don't think too
much of your success."
But Katy could not stop to argue the matter, though, as she
walked along the street, she thought of what her mother had said,
and tried to calm the excitement that agitated her. It was hard
work to keep from running every step of the way; but her mother's
advice must be heeded, and to some extent she succeeded in
controlling her violent impulses. As it was, she reached the
piano-forte manufactory quite out of breath, and rushed into the
workroom as though she had come on an errand of vital importance
to its occupants.
It required but a few minutes to dispose of her small stock of
candy. The workmen all hoped she would come again, and she
departed highly elated at her success.
"There, mother, I have sold all the candy. What do you think of
that?" said she, as she entered her mother's room, and threw off
her bonnet and shawl.
"You have done very well, I had no idea that you could sell more
than twenty or thirty sticks in a day."
"It's a great day's work, mother; and if I can sell half as much
in a day, I shall be satisfied. Don't you think I shall be able
to support you?"
"At this rate you can do much more; but, Katy, I tremble for
"Why, mother?"
"You get so excited, and run so, I am afraid it will make you
"O, no, it won't, mother. I feel as strong as a horse. I am not
tired in the least."
"You don't feel so now, because you are so excited by your
"I shall get used to it in a little while."
"I hope so, if you mean to follow this business."
"If I mean to? Why mother, what else could I do to make so much
money? See here;" and she poured the money she had taken upon the
bed-quilt before her mother. "One dollar and thirty-six cents,
mother! Only think of it! But I won't jump so another day; I will
take it easy."
"I wish you would."
"I will try very hard; but you can't think how happy I feel! Dear
me! I am wasting my time, when I have to make the candy for
"But, Katy, you must not do any more to-night. You will certainly
be sick."
"I must make it, mother."
"Your hands are very sore now."
"They are better; and I don't feel tired a bit."
"I will tell you what you may do, if you must make the candy
to-night. When you have got the molasses boiled, you may ask Mrs.
Colvin, the washerwoman, to come in and pull it for you; for you
are not strong enough to do it yourself."
"I should not like to ask her. She's a poor woman, and it would
be just the same as begging to ask her to give me her work."
"You don't understand me, Katy. She goes out to work whenever she
can get a chance. Her price is ten cents an hour. You can engage
her for one or two hours, and pay her for her labor. This is the
only way you can get along with this business."
"I will do that. It won't take more than an hour."
Mrs. Colvin was accordingly engaged, though at first she
positively refused to be paid for her services; but when Katy
told her she should want her for one or two hours every day, she
consented to the arrangement. Early in the evening the candy was
all made, and Katy's day's work was finished. Notwithstanding her
repeated declaration that she was not tired, the bed "felt good"
to her, and she slept all the more soundly for the hard work and
the good deeds she had done.
Katy's second day's sales, though not so large as those of the
first day, were entirely satisfactory. The profits, after paying
for the "stock" and for the services of Mrs. Colvin, were nearly
a dollar, and her heart beat with renewed hope at this continued
success. Her grand idea hardly seemed like an experiment now, for
she had proved that she could make good candy, and that people
were willing to buy the article. She met with about the same
treatment from those to whom she offered her wares; one spoke
kindly, and purchased by wholesale, and another spoke gruffly,
and would not buy even a single stick. Here she was driven out of
doors, and there she was petted, and made large sales.
So far as Katy's person and manners were concerned, she was
admirably adapted to the business she had chosen. She was rather
small in stature for one of her age, but she was very well
formed, and her movements were agile and graceful. Her face was
not as pretty as it might have been, but her expression was
artless and winning. Her light brown hair hung in curls upon her
shoulders, and contributed not a little to make up the deficiency
in what the painters and sculptors would call a finely chiseled
If she had been dressed in silk, and lace, and embroidery, I
doubt not people would have called her pretty, though in my
opinion it does not make much difference whether she was pretty
or not; for, after all, the best way to judge of a person's
beauty is by the old standard, "Handsome is that handsome does."
But I have said thus much about Katy's face and form in order to
explain the secret of her great success as a candy merchant.
Hundreds of persons would buy a stick of candy of a little girl
with a pretty face and a graceful form, who would not do so of
one less attractive. Though she was well favored in this respect,
I believe it was her gentle, polite manners, her sweet voice,
made sweet by a loving heart, that contributed most to her
success. But above all the accidents of a good form, graceful
movements, brown ringlets, and a pleasing address, she prospered
in trade because she was in earnest, and persevered in all her
efforts. A person cannot succeed in business by being merely good
looking, though this may sometimes be of much assistance. It is
patience, perseverance, energy, and above all, integrity and
uprightness, that lead to the true success.
Encouraged by her prosperity, Katy continued to sell candy with
about the same result as had cheered her heart on the first two
days. Her profits, however, were not so great as on those two
days, and did not average above seventy-five cents a day or four
dollars and a half a week. This was doing exceedingly well, and
she had every reason to be grateful for her good fortune.
At the end of three weeks, rent day came round again, and Dr.
Flynch called for the money. To his utter astonishment, it was
ready for him, and he departed without a single ill-natured word,
though this was, perhaps, because he had a wholesome regard for
the opinion of Mrs. Gordon. Two weeks later Katy found that her
savings were sufficient to enable her to pay the month's rent for
which Mrs. Gordon had given a receipt, and also the dollar which
Grace had loaned her. These debts had pressed heavily on her
mind. She knew that they were regarded as free gifts and her
pride prompted her to remove what she considered a stain upon her
character. Till they were paid, she felt like a beggar.
Taking her money one day, she paid a visit to Temple Street.
Michael opened the door and received her with a smile. Knowing
she was in favor with his mistress, he conducted her to the
sitting-room, where the portraits hung. Those roguish eyes of the
lady, who somewhat resembled her mother, were fixed on her again.
She was sure that her mother did not look like that picture then,
but she was equally sure that she had, some time or other cast
just such a glance at her. The expression of the lady found
something like its counterpart in her memory. Now, her mother
was sick and sad; she seldom smiled. But some time she must have
been a young girl, and then she must have looked like that
portrait. She felt just like asking Mrs. Gordon if that was her
portrait, but she did not dare to do such a thing. While she was
attentively watching the roguish lady's face, her kind friend
entered the room, followed by Grace.
"How do you do, Katy?" said the former, with a benevolent smile.
"Quite well, I thank you, ma'am. I hope you will excuse me for
coming again," replied she.
"I am very glad you have come."
"I was thinking of you the other day, and wishing I might see
you," added Grace, "for the Mayor told us a very pretty story
about you."
"He was very good to me; and I never shall forget him or you,"
answered Katy, warmly.
"I suppose you have come to get another receipt; but I told Dr.
Flynch not to disturb you," said Mrs. Gordon.
"O, no ma'am--I didn't come for that. You were too kind to me
before, and I have come now to pay you for that month's rent."
"Yes, ma'am; we have been able to earn money enough, and I am
very glad that I can pay it," replied Katy, taking the four
dollars from her pocket. "Here it is."
"No, my child; you shall keep it. I will not take it."
Katy's cheeks flushed, for she did not feel poor and proud then.
She felt rich; that is she was proud of being able to pay all she
owed, and she did not like to be thought capable of accepting a
gift--of being the recipient of charity. But she knew the hearts
of her kind friends, and left unspoken the words of indignation
that trembled on her tongue. "Please to take the money, ma'am,"
said she her cheeks still red with shame.
"No, my child; you are a good girl; I will not take your money."
"I shall feel very bad if you don't, and it will make my mother
very unhappy."
"Nay, Katy, you must not be too proud."
"I am not too proud to ask or to accept a favor, but please don't
make me feel like a beggar."
"You are a very strange child," said Mrs. Gordon.
"Indeed you are," added Grace
"I shall not feel right if you don't take this money. You know I
promised to pay you at the time you gave me the receipt."
"I did not suppose you would, that is, I did not think you would
be able to pay it. Your mother has got well, then?"
"No, ma'am; she is better, but she does not sit up any yet."
"Then how did you get this money?"
"I earned it."
"Yes, ma'am; selling candy."
"Is it possible? The mayor told me you were a little candy
merchant, but I did not suppose you carried on such an extensive
"I make a great deal of money; almost five dollars a week; and
now I am able, I hope you will let me pay you."
"If you insist upon it, I shall, though I had much rather you
would keep the money."
"Thank you, ma'am. I shall feel much better when it is paid."
Mrs. Gordon reluctantly received the four dollars. It was a very
small sum to her, though a very large one to Katy. She saw that
the little candy merchant's pride was of the right kind, and she
was not disposed to give her any unnecessary mortification,
though she resolved that neither Katy nor her mother should ever
want a friend in their need.
"I owe you one dollar, also," continued Katy, advancing to the
side of Grace.
"Well, I declare!" laughed Grace. "If that isn't a good one!"
"I promised to pay you; and you know I would not take the money
as a gift," replied Katy.
"I am aware that you would not, and you are the promptest
paymistress I ever knew."
"With the dollar you lent me, I bought the molasses to make the
first lot of candy I sold. Your dollar has done a great deal of
"I am glad it has; but I don't want to take it."
"Won't you let me feel like myself?"
"Certainly I will," laughed Grace.
"Then let me pay my debts, and not feel just like a beggar."
"You are the queerest child I ever saw!" exclaimed Grace, as she
took the dollar. "I am going to keep this dollar for you, and
perhaps some time you will not be so proud as you are now, though
I hope you will always have all the money you want."
"I think I shall, if my trade continues to be good," replied
Katy, who, now that all her debts had been paid, felt a heavy
load removed from her heart.
"You must bring your candy up here. The mayor says it is very
good. I have a sweet tooth, and I will buy lots of it," added
"I will bring you up some to-morrow," replied Katy, moving
towards the door, and casting a last glance at the mischievous
lady in the picture.
"The mayor told me to ask you to call and see him again," said
Mrs. Gordon. "He is very much interested in you."
"He is very kind;" and she bade them good-by.
Katy felt highly honored by the notice the mayor had taken of
her. Like Master Simon Sneed, she felt almost like calling him
her friend the mayor; but she resolved to call upon him on her
way home. He received her very kindly, told her what a mistake
she had made in giving the pawnbroker his note, who had never
delivered it to the marshal, and promised to buy lots of candy
when she came with her tray.
When she returned home she found a message there from Tommy
Howard, requesting to see her that afternoon. She did not feel
like spending any more time in idleness, when she had so much
candy to sell; but Tommy's request was not to be neglected; and,
taking her tray, she called at his house as she passed up to the
Tommy had been talking for a year about going to sea, and had
been for some time on the lookout for a chance as a cabin-boy or
a reefer. He had told her his plans, how he intended to be a good
sailor and work his way up to be captain of some fine ship. She
suspected, therefore, that he had found a chance to go to sea,
and wanted to tell her all about it.
She found him at home, waiting her expected visit; but a feeling
of sadness came over her when she saw his manly face, and thought
how badly she should feel if he should go off on the ocean, and,
perhaps, be drowned in its vast depths. He had been her friend
and protector. Johnny Grippen hardly dared to look at her since
the flogging he had given him; and Katy thought, perhaps, if he
went away, that she should have no one to defend her.
"I am going to-morrow, Katy," said he, after he had given her a
seat by the window.
"To sea?" asked Katy, gloomily.
"Yes; I have got a first-rate ship, and she sails to-morrow."
"I am so sorry you are going!"
"O, never mind it, Katy; I shall be back one of these days. I
wanted to tell you if Johnny Grippen gives you any impudence, to
let me know and I'll lick him when I come back."
"I guess he won't."
"He may; if he does, you had better tell his father."
"But where are you going, Tommy?"
"To Liverpool."
Katy started. Her grandfather lived there. After a moment's
thought she conceived a plan which made her heart bound with
emotion. She could send word to her grandfather, by Tommy, that
she and her mother were in Boston, and then he would send over
after them, and they could live in his fine house, and she should
be as happy as a queen. Then she and her mother might be
passengers in Tommy's ship--and wouldn't they have great times on
the passage! And as her grandfather was a merchant, and owned
ships, she might be able to do something for Tommy.
Under the seal of secrecy she related to her young sailor friend
all the particulars of her mother's history; and he wrote down
the names she gave him. Tommy promised to hunt all over Liverpool
till he found her grandfather; and to insure him a good
reception, Katy wrote a short letter to him, in which she stated
the principal facts in the case.
"Now, good-by, Tommy," said she, wiping away a tear; "I shall
think of you every day, and pray for you too. I hope there won't
be any storms to sink your ship."
"We shan't mind the storms. Good-by, Katy."
She felt very badly all the rest of the day, and her sales were
smaller than usual, for her energy was diminished in proportion
to the sadness of her heart.
As winter approached, Katy realized that the demand for molasses
candy was on the increase, and she found it necessary to make a
much larger quantity. Mrs. Colvin still rendered her assistance
"for a consideration," and the supply was thus made to correspond
with the demand.
Mrs. Redburn's health which had begun to improve with the advent
of their prosperity, now enabled her to sit up nearly the whole
day, and to render much aid in the household affairs, and
especially in the manufacturing of the candy. The good fortune
that had attended Katy's efforts brought many additional comforts
to their humble dwelling; indeed, they had everything that they
needed, and everything that any poor person would have required.
But the fond mother had never been able to reconcile herself to
the business which Katy followed. She dreaded every day lest the
temptations to which it constantly exposed her might lead her
astray. She loved her daughter with all her heart, and she would
rather have died in poverty and want than have had her corrupted.
She had every reason to believe that Katy was the pure and
innocent child she had always been; but she feared, as she grew
older, that some harm might befall her. She would rather bury her
than see her become a bad person, and she hoped soon to be able
to resume her own labors, and let Katy abandon her dangerous
Mrs. Redburn often talked with her about the perils that lay in
her path; but Katy spoke like one who was fortified by good
resolutions and a strong will. She declared that she knew what
dangers were in her way, and that she could resist all the
temptations that beset her. Whatever views the mother had, there
seemed to be no opportunity to carry them out, for by Katy's
labors they were fed, clothed, and housed. She was her mother's
only support, and the candy trade, perilous as it was, could not
be given up.
Katy did not desire to abandon the business she had built up, for
she was proud of her achievement. She was resolved to be good and
true, and to her it did not seem half so perilous as to others.
She had even indulged some thoughts of enlarging her business.
Why could she not have a shop, and sell candy on a counter as
well as in the street? She mentioned this idea to her mother, who
was sure the shop could not succeed, for she was aware that her
daughter's winning manners were more than half her stock in
trade, and that her large sales resulted from carrying the candy
to hundreds of people who did not want it enough to go after it.
Therefore Katy gave up the shop at once, but she did not abandon
the idea of enlarging her business, though she did not exactly
see how it could be done. One day an accident solved the problem
for her, and at that time commenced a new era in the candy trade.
One pleasant morning in November, as she walked up the court, she
met Ann Grippen, a sister of Johnny who stopped to talk with her.
The Grippen family consisted of eleven persons. The father was a
day laborer, and as his wages were small, and he had a great many
mouths to feed, they were, of course, miserably poor. The older
children showed no ability or disposition to help their parents
but spent most of their time in strolling about the streets.
Johnny was a fair specimen of the boys, as Ann was of the girls.
She might have been seen almost any day with a well-worn basket
on her arm, exploring the streets and wharves in search of chips,
for Johnny was too vicious to do the work which more properly
belonged to him.
"You sell lots of candy now--don't you?" said Ann.
"Yes, a great deal," replied Katy, who was not disposed to spend
her time idly, and in the company of one whose reputation in the
neighborhood was not very good.
"Stop a minute--won't you? I want to speak to you."
"I will; but be as quick as you can, for I am in a hurry."
"Don't you think I could sell candy?" continued Ann.
"I dare say you could. Why don't you try, if you want to?"
"But I haven't got no candy; and mother can't make it, as you
can. If you are a mind to let me have some, I will sell it for
you, and you may give me what you like."
The idea struck the little merchant very favorably. There were a
great many girls just like Ann Grippen, who were wasting their
time about the streets, and learning to be wicked. Why couldn't
she employ them to sell candy?
"I will try you," replied Katy.
"Well, I'm all ready to begin."
"Not yet," said the little candy merchant, with a smile.
"Yes, I am."
"Your face and hands are very dirty."
"What odds will that make?" asked Ann, rather indignantly.
"Do you suppose anybody would eat a stick of candy after you had
touched it with those dirty fingers? Your customers would be
afraid of being poisoned."
"I s'pose I can wash 'em," replied Ann, who seemed still to
regard it as a very unnecessary operation.
"It would be a good plan; and while you are about it you must not
forget your face."
"I ain't a-going to touch the candy with my face," added Ann,
"Very true; but if people saw you with such a dirty face, they
would be afraid your candy was not very clean."
"Any way you like. I will wash my face and hands both, if that's
"But that isn't all. Your dress is very dirty and very ragged."
"I can't afford to dress like a lady," said Ann, who had some of
her brother's disposition, and under any other circumstances
would have resented Katy's plain home thrusts.
"You needn't dress like a lady; but the neater and cleaner you
are, the more candy you will sell."
"I will fix up as much as I can."
"Very well; if you will come to my house to-morrow morning, I
will let you have some candy."
"How much will you give me for selling it?" asked Ann.
"I can't tell now; I will think about it, and let you know when
you come."
Katy went her way, turning over and over in her mind the scheme
which Ann's application had suggested to her. She might employ a
dozen girls, or even more than that, and pay them so much a dozen
for selling the candy. She might then stop going out to sell
herself, and thus gratify her mother. She could even go to
school, and still attend to her business.
When she returned home at noon, she proposed the plan to her
mother. Mrs. Redburn was much pleased with it, though she
suggested many difficulties in the way of its success. The girls
might not be honest; but if they were not, they could be
discharged. Many of them were vicious; they would steal or be
saucy, so that people would not permit them to enter their stores
and offices, and the business would thus be brought into
disrepute. Katy determined to employ the best girls she could
find, and to tell them all that they must behave like ladies.
The next morning Ann Grippen appeared with her face and hands
tolerably clean, and wearing a dress which by a liberal
construction could be called decent. She brought a dirty, rusty
old tray, which was the best she could obtain; yet in spite of
all these disadvantages, the little candy merchant looked upon it
as a hopeful case.
"Now, Ann, you must be very civil to everybody you meet," said
Katy, as she covered the rusty tray with a sheet of clean white
"I hope I know how to behave myself," replied Ann, rather
"I dare say you do;" and she might have hinted that there was
some difference between knowing how to do a thing and doing it.
"I was only going to tell you how to sell candy. If you don't
want me to tell you, I won't."
"I should like to have you tell me, but I guess I know how to
"You must be very civil to everybody, even when they don't speak
very pleasant to you."
"I don't know about that," replied Ann, doubtfully, for it was
contrary to the Grippen philosophy to be very civil to any one,
much less to those who were not civil to them.
"When any one buys any candy of you, you must always say, `Thank
you'; and then the next time you meet the person he will buy
"How much you going to give me for selling?" demanded Ann,
abruptly cutting short the instructions.
"Mother thinks you ought to have four cents a dozen."
"Four cents? My mother says I ought to have half, and I ain't
going to sell your candy for no four cents a dozen."
"Very well; you needn't if you don't wish to do so;" and Katy
removed the sheet of white paper she had placed over the dirty
"You ought to give me half I get," added Ann, rather softened by
Katy's firmness and decision.
"Four cents is enough. I often sell a hundred sticks in a day."
"Well, I don't care; I will try it once."
"If we find we can afford to pay any more than four cents, we
will do so."
Katy covered the tray again, and arranged two dozen sticks on it
in an attractive manner. After giving Ann some further
instructions in the art of selling candy, she permitted her to
depart on her mission. She was not very confident in regard to
her success for Ann was too coarse and ill-mannered for a good
sales-woman. She hoped for the best, however, and after preparing
her own tray, she went out to attend to business as usual. In the
court she saw Master Simon Sneed, who was sitting on his father's
doorstep. She noticed that he looked sad and downhearted; and
when he spoke to her the tones of his voice indicated the same
depression of spirits.
"Have you seen the Mayor lately, Katy?" asked Simon, as he
"Not very lately"
"I should like to see him," added he, raising his eyes to her.
"Why don't you call upon him? You know where he lives--don't
"Yes, but----"
Master Simon paused, as though he did not like to explain the
reason. Katy waited for him to proceed, but as he did not, she
remarked that he looked very sad, and she hoped nothing had
"Something has happened," replied he, gloomily.
"Nothing bad, I hope."
"I have left my place at Sands & Co.'s.
"Left it? Why, how can they possibly get along without you?"
exclaimed Katy.
"It is their own fault; and though I say it who should not say
it, they will never find another young man who will do as much
for them as I have done."
"I shouldn't think they would have let you go."
"Nor I; but some men never know when they are well used."
"How did it happed?"
"I asked them for an increase of salary, and told them I could
stay no longer unless they did so. And what do you think they
"I don't know; I should suppose they would have raised your
"No, Katy," added Simon, bitterly. "Mr. Sands told me I might go;
he wouldn't have me at any rate. Wasn't that cool? Well, well; if
they don't know their own interest, they must bear the
consequences. If they fail, or lose all their trade, they can't
blame me for it. Now I have nothing to do; and I was just
thinking whether my friend the mayor couldn't help me into a
"I dare say he can. Why don't you call and see him at once?"
"I don't like to do so. He sees so many persons that I really
don't think he would recollect me. I must get something to do,
though; for my father is sick, and winter is coming on."
"How much salary did you get, Master Simon?" asked Katy, who
highly approved his determination not to be a burden upon his
"Two dollars and a half a week."
"Is that all!"
"Yes; they ought to have given me ten. Even that was better than
"I was thinking of something, Master Simon," said Katy, after a
"What, Katy?"
"I make four or five dollars a week."
"Is it possible!"
"If you have a mind to sell candy, I will furnish you all you
want, so that you can make at least three dollars a week."
The lip of Master Simon slowly curled, till his face bore an
expression of sovereign contempt. He rose from his seat, and
fixed his eyes rather sternly upon the little candy merchant, who
began to think she had made a bad mistake, though all the time
she had intended to do a kind act.
"What have I done, Katy, that you should insult me? Do you think
I have sunk so low as to peddle candy about the streets?" said
he, contemptuously.
"Do you think I have sunk very low, Master Simon?" asked Katy,
with a pleasant smile on her face.
"Your business is very low," he replied, more gently.
"Is that business low by which I honestly make money enough to
support my sick mother and myself?"
"It would be low for me; my ideas run a little higher than that,"
answered Simon, rather disposed to apologize for his hard words;
for Katy's smile had conquered him, as a smile oftener will
conquer than a hard word.
"You know best; but if I can do anything for you, Master Simon, I
shall be very glad to do so."
"Thank you, Katy; you mean right, but never speak to me about
selling candy again. I think you can help me."
"Then I will."
"I will see you again when I get my plan arranged. In the
meantime, if you happen to meet my friend the mayor, just speak a
good word for me."
"I will;" and Katy left him.
Contrary to the expectations of Katy and her mother, Ann Grippen
returned at noon with her tray empty, having sold the whole two
dozen sticks.
"Well, Ann, how do you like the business?" asked Katy.
"First rate. Here is twenty-four cents," replied Ann; and it was
evident, from her good-natured laugh, that she was much
encouraged by her success.
"You may give me sixteen; the other eight belong to you."
"I think I can do something at it," added Ann, as she regarded
with much satisfaction the first money she had ever earned in her
"You can, if you work it right; but you must be very gentle and
patient; you must keep yourself clean and----"
"Well, I guess I know all about that," interrupted Ann, who did
not like this style of remark.
"Katy," said her mother, who was sitting in her rocking-chair, by
the fire.
"What, mother?"
"Come here a moment."
Katy crossed the room to her mother, to hear what she wished to
"You must not talk to her in that style," said Mrs. Redburn, in a
tone so low that Ann could not hear her.
"Why not, mother? I was only telling her how to do."
"But you speak in that tone of superiority which no one likes to
hear. You are but a child, as she is, and she will not listen to
such advice from you."
Katy wondered what her mother would have thought if she had heard
what she said to Ann the day before. Yet she was conscious that
she had "put on airs," and talked like a very old and a very wise
"I suppose you would like to go out again this afternoon,"
resumed Katy, joining her assistant again.
"I don't care if I do."
"Well, come this afternoon, and you shall have some more candy;"
and Ann ran home to get her dinner.
"I think my plan will work well, mother," said Katy, when she had
"It has so far, but you must not be too sure."
"I mean to go out after dinner and hunt up some more girls, for
you see I shall have no candy to sell myself this afternoon, when
I have given Ann two dozen sticks."
"I hope you will not attempt to lecture them as you did her."
"Why, mother, I know all about the business and they don't know
"I doubt not you are competent to advise them; but the manner in
which you address them is more offensive than the matter. Your
knowledge of the business makes you treat them as inferiors. You
must not think too much of yourself, Katy."
"No danger of that, mother."
"I am afraid there is. Persons in authority, who are gentle and
kind, and do not act like superiors, are more promptly obeyed,
and more loved and respected, than those who are puffed up by
their office, and tyrannical in their manners."
"But I am not a person in authority, mother," laughed Katy.
"You will be, if you employ a dozen girls to sell candy for you."
After Katy had eaten her dinner, and fitted out Ann Grippen, she
left the house in search of some more assistants. She was well
known to all the boys and girls in the neighborhood; and when she
stated her object to one and another of them, she was readily
understood. To help her cause, it had begun to be known that Ann
Grippen had been seen with a clean face, selling candy in the
street. She had no difficulty, therefore, in procuring the
services of half a dozen girls, who were delighted with the plan
especially when Katy informed them of Ann's success.
On her return home, she found that Simon Sneed had called to see
her, and she immediately hastened to his house. When she knocked,
he came to the door and invited her into the palor.
"Well, Katy, I have hit upon something," said he.
"I am glad you have."
"I went down town after I saw you, and hearing of a place in
Tremont Row, I went to apply for it."
"Did you get it?"
"Not yet, but I hope to get it. They agreed to give me three
dollars a week if everything proved satisfactory; but they wanted
a recommendation from my last employers."
"Of course they will give you one."
"No, they would not; they were offended because I left them."
"Then you asked them?"
"Yes, I went after one this afternoon, and they would not give it
to me. I did not much expect they would, and so I informed
Messrs. Runn & Reed, the firm to which I have applied for an
engagement. I told them exactly how the case stood; that I had
demanded higher wages, and the Messrs. Sands were angry with me
for doing so, and for that reason refused the testimonial. They
saw through it all, and understood my position. When I spoke to
them about my friend the mayor, they looked surprised, and said a
recommendation from him would satisfy them. So you see just how I
am situated."
"Why don't you go to him at once, and ask him for the
recommendation?" said Katy wondering why he hesitated at so plain
a case.
But Master Simon had some scruples about doing so. He was old
enough to know that it was rather a delicate business to ask a
man in a high official station for a testimonial on so slight an
acquaintance. The mayor was interested in Katy, though she did
not presume to call him her friend. She had twice called upon
him, and she might again.
"I don't like to ask him, Katy. I feel some delicacy about doing
"I should just as lief ask him as not, if I were you. I am afraid
you are too proud, Master Simon."
"I am proud, Katy: that's just it. I was born to be a gentleman,
but I submit to my lot. I am willing to sell my talents and my
labor for money. If I can once get in at Runn & Reed's, I am sure
they will appreciate me, and consider it a lucky day on which
they engaged me."
"If you want me to go to the mayor's house with you, I will,"
said Katy, who did not clearly comprehend Simon's wishes.
"Well, I think I will not go myself," replied Simon.
"Why not?"
"I do not like to place myself in a humiliating posture before
great men. If I were mayor of Boston, I should like to do him the
favor which I ask for myself. When I am--"
"You haven't asked him, Master Simon."
"In a word, Katy, I want you to ask him for me. You will do me a
great favor."
"I will," replied Katy, promptly.
"The mayor is a very fine man, kind-hearted, and willing to help
everybody that deserves help; and if he were not my friend, I
should feel no delicacy in asking him myself. You can state the
case, and inform him who I am, and what I am; that you know me to
be honest and faithful. You can tell him, too, that I am a
gentlemanly person, of pleasing address."
"But I can't remember all that," interposed Katy.
"Tell him what you can recollect, then. He is an easy,
good-natured man, and will give you the testimonial at once."
"Suppose you write a paper, just such as you want, Master Simon.
Then he can copy it."
"Well I will do that."
Simon seated himself at a table, and, after considerable effort,
produced the following piece of elegant composition, which he
read to Katy:--
"To whom it may concern:
"This may certify that I have been for some time acquainted with
my friend Mr. Simon Sneed, and I believe him to be an honest and
faithful young man, of gentlemanly bearing, pleasing address, and
polite manners, who will be an honor and an ornament to any
establishment that may be so fortunate as to secure his valuable
services; and I cheerfully recommend him to any person to whom he
may apply for a situation. Mayor of Boston."
"I have left a blank space for his honor's signature," continued
Master Simon, when he had read the modest document. "What do you
think of it, Katy?"
"It is very fine. What a great scholar you must be! I should
think you'd write a book."
"Perhaps I may one of these days."
"I will go right up to the mayor's house now," said Katy, as she
bade him good afternoon.
Before she went, she returned home and nicely enclosed six sticks
of candy in white paper as a present for Freddie, the mayor's
little son. On her way up to Park Street she opened Simon's
paper, and read it. It sounded funny to her, with its big words
and fine sentences; and then what a puffing Master Simon had
given himself! She even began to wonder if there was not
something about her gentlemanly friend which was not all right.
She reached the mayor's house, and as it was his time to be at
home, she was conducted to the library.
"Ah, Katy, I am glad to see you," said he, taking her hand.
"Thank you, sir. I have brought this candy for Master Freddie."
"You are very good, and I suppose you are so proud that I must
not offer to pay you for it."
"If you please, don't, sir," replied Katy, unconsciously taking
Master Simon's testimonial from her pocket. "I don't want you to
pay me in money, but you may pay me in another way, if you
"May I? What have you in your hand?"
"A paper, sir. You remember Master Simon Sneed?"
"No, I don't."
"The young man at Sands & Co.'s."
"O, yes; the young gentleman that uses so many long words."
"He has left his place, and wants to get another."
"He has left it? Why was that?"
"He asked for more wages. He has found another place, which he
can have if he can get a testimonial."
"Let him ask Sands & Co."
"They won't give him one, because they are so angry with him for
leaving them."
"That indeed!"
"Master Simon wants you to give him one," continued Katy, who, in
her confusion was jumping at the conclusion of the matter rather
too hastily, and before she had produced a proper impression in
regard to her hero's transcendent character and ability.
"Does he, indeed," laughed the mayor. "He is very modest."
"He said, as you are his friend, you would not object to giving
him one."
"What have you in your hand, Katy? Has he written one to save me
the trouble?" laughed the mayor.
"I asked him to do so. You can copy it off, if you please, sir."
The mayor took the testimonial and proceeded to read it. Katy had
already concluded from his manner that the business was not all
correct, and she wished herself out of the scrape. He finished
the reading, and then burst into a violent fit of laughter.
"Your friend is very modest, Katy;--my friend Mr. Simon Sneed."
"I hope I haven't done anything wrong, sir?" stammered Katy.
"No, Katy; you have been imposed upon by a silly young man. You
meant to do him a kindness--in your heart you had nothing but
kindness--and I think the more of you for what you have done, and
the less of Simon for what he has done. Did he think I would
recommend him, when I know nothing about him? He is a conceited
puppy, and, in my opinion, a worthless fellow. One of these days
he will be `an honor and an ornament' to the workhouse, if he
does business in this manner."
"Dear me!" exclaimed Katy, frightened at the remarks of the
"Now, Katy, we will go to the store of the Messrs. Sands & Co.,
and find out about this young man. I will meet you there at
half-past four. Good-by, Katy. Freddie thinks ever so much of you
now, and in his behalf I thank you for the candy."
Katy did not know exactly what to make of her position but at the
time fixed, she was at the store of Sands & Co., where the mayor
soon joined her.
"Now, Katy, you shall hear what his employers say of Master
Simon," said he; and she followed him into the store.
The mayor stated his business, and inquired concerning the
character of Simon.
"He is honest, and did his work very well," replied Mr. Sands.
Katy was pleased to hear this, and the mayor confessed his
"But he was an intolerable nuisance about the store," continued
Mr. Sands. "With only a small amount of modesty, he would have
done very well; as it was, he was the biggest man in our employ.
Our customers were disgusted with him, and we had been thinking
of getting rid of him for a long time. When he asked for more
wages, impudently declaring he would leave if we did not accede
to his demand, we discharged him. In a word, I wouldn't have him
round the store at any price."
"As I supposed," replied the mayor, as he showed Mr. Sands the
recommendation Simon had written.
"This sounds just like him."
Katy pitied poor Simon now that she understood him, and she went
home determined to tell him all that had passed between the mayor
and herself.
Master Simon Sneed sat at the window when Katy returned, and she
had to tell him all about it. She pitied him, poor fellow, and
she hoped the lesson would do him good. She did not like to tell
him so many unpleasant things, for they would wound his pride.
"Well, Katy, what did my friend the mayor say?" asked Simon, as
he joined her on the sidewalk.
"I am afraid you will not call him your friend after this,"
replied Katy.
"Why? He had not the effrontery to refuse my reasonable request?"
"The what? Please to use words that I can understand," said she,
for she was not a little disgusted with Simon's big words, now
she knew how much mischief they had done him.
"Didn't he give you the paper?"
"He did not."
"I didn't think that of him. It was shabby."
"He said he did not know you. But I showed him your paper, in
which you had written down what you thought of yourself."
"Well, what did he say to that?" asked Simon, eagerly.
"I thought he would split his fat sides laughing. He didn't seem
to believe a word of it."
"He didn't? I am surprised at that."
"He said you were a conceited puppy."
"I always took the mayor for a sensible fellow; I see I have been
"He didn't like it because you sent me to him upon such an
errand. He said you had imposed upon me."
"Go on, Katy; I may expect anything after what you have said,"
replied Simon, with all the coolness and indifference he could
"He said he believed you were a worthless fellow. Then he told me
to meet him at the store of the Messrs. Sands & Co., and he would
inquire about you."
"Then you went to the store?"
"We did; and when the mayor asked Mr. Sands about you, he said
you were honest, and did your work well, but----"
"Notice that remark particularly. I hope you called the mayor's
attention to it," interrupted Master Simon. "What else did he
"He said you were a nuisance----"
"Observe how far his prejudices carried him. That man believed,
if I stayed in the store, that I should supplant him and his
partner. You see how far he carried his spite."
"But he said all the good he could of you Simon," said Katy. "He
said you were honest and did your work well."
"Can a nuisance be honest, and do work well? Hath not a Jew
eyes?" queried Mr. Simon, with dramatic fervor.
"He didn't say anything about Jews."
"I was quoting Shakspeare, the immortal bard of Avon. Katy, Sands
knew that I was securing the respect and esteem of all his
customers; and he knew very well if I should step into a rival
establishment, I should take half his trade with me," continued
the injured Sneed.
"He said his customers were disgusted with you. You talked so big
and thought so much of yourself, he would not have you in the
store at any price. But I should think that Runn & Reed would be
glad to have you if you can carry so much trade with you."
"They cannot know till I have had a chance to show them what I
can do."
"I hope you will soon have such a chance."
"There is one thing about it; when I do, Sands & Co. will see the
mistake they have made. I think the ladies that visit their store
will miss a familiar face. They used to insist upon my waiting
upon them, though it was not exactly in the line of my duty to
sell goods. Often was I called away from the bundle department to
attend them. No one seemed to suit them but me. Why, it was only
the day before I left that an elegant, aristocratic lady from
Beacon Street made me go clear home with her."
"Why, what for?"
"To carry her bundle; but that was all a pretense."
"Did she invite you to tea, Master Simon?" asked Katy, who could
hardly help laughing in his face.
"No, but she kept me quarter of an hour at the door."
"What did she say?"
"She was trying to make it out that I had brought the wrong
bundle, and so she opened it, in the entry; but it was only to
keep me there."
"You think she was smitten?" laughed Katy.
"I have an opinion," replied Simon, sagely. "There are a good
many fine ladies will miss my face."
Katy didn't think any fine lady could be much charmed with that
thin, hatchet face; and she realized now that Master Simon was a
great heap of vanity. She never thought before that he could be
so silly. She wanted to tell him that he was a great fool, for
she feared he would never find it out himself; but he was older
than she was, and she did not think it quite proper to do so.
"I must go now," said Katy. "If you don't find anything you like
better, you can sell candy, you know."
"Katy!" exclaimed Simon, sternly.
"I am poor and proud, Master Simon; I am too proud to be
dependent, or do anything mean and wicked; but I am not too proud
to sell candy."
"I am," replied Simon, with dignity.
"Then yours is a foolish pride," replied Katy, with a smile to
soften the hard words; and she walked away toward her own house.
She felt thankful that she had no such pride as Simon's; and she
had reason to be thankful for when any person is too proud to do
the work which God has placed within his reach, he becomes a
pitiable object, and honest men will regard him with contempt.
Katy had to work very hard that evening, in making candy for her
assistants to sell, and it was nine o'clock before she was ready
to go to bed.
The next morning, all the girls who had engaged to come, appeared
with their trays, and were supplied with candy. Katy instructed
them very modestly in the art of selling; taking upon herself no
airs, and assuming no superiority. Ann Grippen came with them,
and seemed to be very much pleased with her new occupation.
At noon they all returned, though only two of them had sold out
their two dozen sticks. Katy gave them further instructions in
regard to the best places to sell candy, and when they came home
at night, all but one had disposed of their stock. The
experiment, therefore was regarded as a successful one. The next
day several other girls, who had heard of Katy's plan, came to
the house, and wanted to be engaged. The little merchant could
not supply them, but promised, if they would come the next day,
to furnish them with a stock. Even now, the quantity manufactured
required the services of Mrs. Colvin for three hours, and this
day she engaged her to come immediately after dinner.
I need not detail the manner in which Katy's trade kept
increasing. In a fortnight she had more than a dozen girls
employed in selling candy. She was actually making a wholesale
business of it, and no longer traveled about the streets herself.
By the first of December, Mrs. Redburn had so far recovered her
health as to be able to take charge of the manufacturing part of
the business, and Katy was permitted to go to school, though she
supplied the girls in the morning and at noon, and settled all
their accounts.
One day she received a call from Michael, Mrs. Gordon's man,
requesting her attendance in Temple Street. She obeyed the
summons; but when she met Mrs. Gordon and Grace, she was alarmed
to see how coldly and reproachfully they looked upon her.
"I have heard a very bad story about you, Katy," said Mrs.
"About me?" gasped she.
"Yes; and I was very sorry to hear it."
"What was it, ma'am? I hope I haven't done anything to lose your
good will."
"I am afraid you have."
"I don't believe she did it, mother," said Grace. "She is too
good to do any such thing."
"What is it? Do tell me."
"I have been told that a little girl, who sells candy, has been
playing tricks upon passers-by in the streets; that she tells
lies and deceives them."
"I never did such a thing!" protested Katy, her cheeks covered
with the blush of indignation.
Mrs. Gordon explained the deception, and spoke in very severe
terms of it. The trick had been played off on a friend of hers,
who had told of it the evening before.
"When was it, ma'am?" asked Katy.
"Yesterday forenoon."
"I was in school then. Besides, I haven't sold any candy in the
street for more than three weeks."
"I knew it wasn't she!" exclaimed Grace triumphantly.
"I was very unwilling to believe it," added Mrs. Gordon; "but the
description seemed to point you out as the little deceiver."
"I wouldn't do such a thing, ma'am. If you inquire you will find
that I have been in school every day this week."
"I believe you, Katy. But can you tell me who it was?"
"I don't know, but I will find out;" and before she took her
leave she told the ladies how she conducted her business, which
amused them very much.
"Who played this trick?" said she to herself when she got into
the street. "If I can only find out, I will discharge her. She
will bring the business into contempt."
Of course no one would own it, and the only way she could find
out was by watching them. It must be stopped, for, besides being
too honest to allow such deception, Katy saw that it would spoil
the trade.
When she got home, she found a letter which the penny-post had
brought, directed to her in large schoolboy hand.
"It is from Tommy," exclaimed she, eagerly seizing the letter and
retiring to a corner to read it.
"You and Tommy are great friends," said her mother.
"Yes, mother; but don't you see it came all the way from
Mrs. Redburn sighed deeply at the mention of her native city, and
a thousand memories of the past flitted before her. Katy broke
the seal, and as this letter contained some very important
information, my young readers may look over her shoulder while
she reads it. It was as follows:--
Liverpool, Nov. 13, 1845.
"Dear Friend:--I take my pen in hand to let you know that I am
well, and I hope these few lines will find you enjoying the same
blessing. I arrived to Liverpool safe and sound, and when I got
home, I will tell you all about it. Just as we got in to the
dock, I kept thinking about what you told me. They won't let us
have any fires on board ship in the docks; so we all board
ashore. I asked the man where we stopped if he knew such a
merchant as Matthew Guthrie. He did not know him, and never heard
of him. Then I went round among the big merchants, and asked
about your grandfather. I asked a good many before I found one
who knew him, and he said your grandfather had been dead ten
years. I asked him where the family was. He said Mr. Guthrie had
only two daughters; that one of them had run away with her
father's clerk, and the other was married and gone to America. He
said her husband belonged to Baltimore. This was all he knew
about it, and all I could find out. We shall sail home in about
three weeks. I thought you would like to know; so I wrote this
letter to send by the steamer. Drop in and see my mother, and
tell her I am well, and had a tiptop voyage over. No more at
present from
"Your affectionate friend,
Katy read the letter twice over, and then gave it to her mother,
after explaining that she had told Tommy her story, and requested
him to inquire about her grandfather. Mrs. Redburn was too much
affected by the news from her early home to find fault with Katy
for what she had done.
Both of them felt very sad for while Mrs. Redburn thought of her
father, who had lain in his grave ten years without her
knowledge, Katy could not but mourn over the hopes which Tommy's
letter had blasted.
The next day was Wednesday, and as school kept but half a day,
Katy resolved to spend the afternoon in finding out which of her
employees was in the habit of practicing the deception which Mrs.
Gordon had described to her. She could think of no one upon whom
she could fasten the guilt, unless it was Ann Grippen, who, she
thought, would be more likely to play such a trick than any
other. After she had delivered their candy, she put on her things
and followed the girls down to State Street, where they
separated. Ann went up Court Street, and Katy decided that she
needed watching, and so she followed her.
It was a very tedious afternoon to the little wholesale merchant,
but the dignity of the trade depended upon her efforts in seeking
the offender. Ann entered various shops, and seemed to be having
very good luck with her stock. At last she appeared to grow tired
of her labors, and turned into an alley. Katy wondered what she
was going to do there, for it was certainly no place to sell
candy. She waited sometime for her to come out, and when she
heard her steps, she placed herself at the corner of the alley,
in such a position that Ann could not see her face.
Presently she heard Ann crying with all her might; and crying so
very naturally that she could hardly persuade herself that it was
not real. She glanced over her shoulder at her, and discovered
that she had broken the nice sticks of candy into a great many
little pieces; and it was for this purpose that she had gone into
the alley. Katy was indignant when she saw so much valuable
merchandise thus ruthlessly mutilated, and the sale of it
spoiled. She was disposed to present herself to the artful girl,
and soundly lecture her for the deceit and wickedness: but she
wanted to see how the game was played.
"Boo, hoo, hoo!" sobbed Ann Grippen, apparently suffering all the
pangs of a broken heart, which could not possibly be repaired.
"What is the matter, little girl?" asked a benevolent lady,
attracted by the distress of Ann.
"Boo, hoo, hoo!" cried Ann, unable to speak on account of the
torrents of wo that overwhelmed her.
"Don't cry, little girl, and tell me what the matter is,"
continued the kind lady.
"Boo, hoo, hoo! I fell down and broke all my candy," sobbed Ann.
"Poor child!" exclaimed the sympathizing lady.
"My father'll beat me because I didn't sell it," added Ann.
"He is a cruel man. Are you sure he will punish you?"
"Yes, ma'am," groaned Ann. "He'll whip me almost to death if I
don't bring home half a dollar."
"You can tell him you fell down and broke the candy," suggested
the lady.
"He won't believe me; he'll say I sold the candy and spent the
money. O, dear me."
"You can show him the pieces."
"Boo, hoo, hoo! Then he'll say I broke it on purpose, because I
was too lazy to sell it; and then he'll kill me--I know he will."
"I will go and see him, and tell him about the accident. Where do
you live?"
"Down North Square. He ain't to home now," replied Ann, who was
not quite prepared for this method of treating the subject.
"Poor child! I pity you," sighed the lady.
"O, dear me!" cried Ann, exerting herself to the utmost to deepen
the impression she had made.
"How much do you want to make up the value of your candy?"
"Half a dollar."
"There it is, poor child! If it will save you from abuse, you are
welcome to it."
"Thank you, ma'am. It may save my life," replied Ann, as she took
the half dollar and put it in her pocket.
"What an awful liar she is!" said Katy to herself, as the lady
hurried on, probably much pleased with herself as she thought of
the kind act she supposed she had done.
Katy was curious to know what her unworthy assistant would do
next, and she followed her down Hanover Street, and saw her stop
before the American House. She could not believe that Ann would
have the hardihood to play off the same trick again so soon; and
she was very much surprised and very indignant when she saw her
begin to cry with all her might, just as she had done before.
While the deceitful girl's eyes were covered with her apron, in
the extremity of her grief, Katy contrived to get on the hotel
steps behind her, so that she could see and hear all that passed.
"What is the matter with that girl?" asked a gentleman, who
presently appeared at the door, addressing another who was just
behind him.
"It is the broken candy dodge," replied the second gentleman.
"That trick has been played off a dozen times within a week."
"What does it mean?" asked the first. "I don't understand it."
The second explained the trick, precisely as Katy had just
witnessed it in Court Street.
"Now, don't say a word," he continued. "I have a counterfeit half
dollar in my pocket, and you shall see how it is done."
With this announcement of his purpose, he accosted Ann, who told
him about the same story she had told the lady, and he finally
gave her the counterfeit half dollar, which Ann did not suspect
was a bad one.
"How abominably wicked she is," exclaimed Katy, as she followed
her up the street. "But I will soon spoil all her fun, and cut
off her profits. I will teach her that honesty is the best
It was easier for Katy to resolve what to do than it was to do
it; for the wicked girl could easily get her stock through
another person. As she walked up the street, Ann lightened her
load by eating the pieces of broken candy, upon which she seemed
to feed with hearty relish. At a window in Court Street, Ann
stopped to look at some pictures, when she was joined by another
of the candy sellers, and they walked together till they came to
an unfrequented court, which they entered. Katy could hear enough
of their conversation, as she followed them, to ascertain that
they were talking about the tricks Ann had practiced. In the
court they seated themselves on a door-stone, and as they talked
and laughed about the deceit, they ate the pieces of candy.
"There," said Ann, "I have made a dollar and ten cents this
afternoon. You don't catch me walking all over the city for
twenty-four cents, when I don't get but eight of that."
"I ain't so smart as you," modestly replied Julia Morgan, the
other girl.
"You'll learn," said Ann, as she took out her money and exhibited
the two half dollars.
"I don't think people would believe me, if I should try that
"Try some other. I think I shall, for I've about used up the
broken candy game."
"What other?"
"I have one," replied Ann, prudently declining to divulge her
secret; "and when I've tried it, I'll tell you all about it."
"Why don't you try it now?"
"I would if my candy wasn't broken."
"I will let you have mine."
"Then I will."
"Give me fourteen cents."
"I will when I've done with it."
"No, you don't," laughed Julia, who justly inferred that if Ann
would cheat one person, she would another.
But Ann was so much interested in the experiment that she decided
to give the fourteen cents, and took the candy. Katy wondered
what the new game could be, and wanted to see her carry it out,
though her conscience smote her for permitting the lady to be
deceived, when she could have unmasked the deceit. She resolved
not to let another person be deceived, and followed the two girls
into State Street, as much for the purpose of exposing Ann's
wickedness, as to learn the trick she intended to play.
"Now you go away," said Ann to her companion, as she placed
herself on the steps of the Merchants-Bank.
It was nearly dark by this time, and as there were but few
persons in the street, Ann did not commence her part of the
performance till she saw a well-dressed gentleman approach;
whereupon she began to cry as she had done twice before that day.
"Boo, hoo, hoo! O, dear me! I shall be killed!" cried she, so
lustily, that the well-dressed gentleman could not decently avoid
inquiring the cause of her bitter sorrow.
"I haven't sold out," sobbed Ann.
"What if you haven't? Why need you cry about it?" asked the
"My mother will kill me if I go home without half a dollar."
"She is a cruel woman, then."
"Boo, hoo, hoo! She'll beat me to death! O, dear me! I only got
ten cents."
"Why don't you fly round and sell your candy?" said the
"I can't now, the folks have all gone, and it's almost dark. O, I
wish I was dead!"
"Well, well, don't cry any more; I'll give you half a dollar, and
that will make it all right;" and he put his hand in his pocket
for the money.
"Don't give it to her," said Katy, stepping out of the lane by
the side of the bank. "She has deceived you, sir."
"Deceived me, has she?" added the stranger as he glanced at Katy.
"Yes, sir. She has got more than a dollar in her pocket now."
"Don't you believe her," sobbed Ann, still prudently keeping up
the appearance of grief .
"How do you know she has deceived me?" asked the stranger, not a
little piqued, as he thought how readily he had credited the
girl's story.
"Because I saw her play a trick just like this twice before this
afternoon. She has two half dollars in her pocket now, though one
of them is counterfeit."
"What do you mean by that, Katy Redburn?" demanded Ann, angrily,
and now forgetting her woe and her tears.
"You speak very positively," said the gentleman to Katy; "and if
what you say is true, something should be done about it."
"She is telling lies!" exclaimed Ann, much excited.
"We can soon determine, for here comes a policeman, and I will
refer the matter to him.
At these words, Ann edged off the steps of the bank, and suddenly
started off as fast as she could run, having, it seemed, a very
wholesome aversion to policemen. But she made a bad mistake, for,
not seeing in what direction the officer was approaching, she ran
into the very jaws of the lion.
"Stop her!" shouted the gentleman.
The policeman laid a rude hand upon her shoulder, and marched her
back to the bank. In a few words the gentleman stated what had
happened, and requested the officer to search her, and thus
decide whether Katy told the truth or not. He readily consented,
and on turning out Ann's pocket, produced the two half dollars,
one of which the gentleman decided was a counterfeit coin.
"How could you know this was a counterfeit?" he asked of Katy.
"I heard a gentleman at the door of the American House, who knew
the game, tell another that it was a counterfeit;" and she
proceeded to give all the particulars of the two tricks she had
seen Ann play off.
"I shall have to take you to the lock-up, my little joker," said
the policeman.
"O, dear me!" cried Ann, and this time she was in earnest.
"Please don't do that!" said Katy, who had not foreseen this
consequence of the game.
"I must; it is downright swindling."
"Please don't; she has a father and mother and I dare say they
will feel very bad about it. I promise you she shall never do it
again," pleaded Katy.
"I must do my duty. This candy trick has been played a good many
times, and has become a nuisance. I must lock her up."
"Save me, Katy, save me!" begged Ann terrified at the thought of
being put in a prison or some dreadful place.
"Why do you wish to save her?" interposed the gentleman.
"Because her mother will feel so bad; and she will lay it all to
Katy told him all about herself and about Ann, and he was so much
interested in her that he joined in pleading for Ann's release.
The officer was firm for a long time, but when the gentleman
declared that he should not appear against her, he decided to let
her go, to Katy's great delight, as well as to Ann's.
Humbled by the peril from which she had just escaped, Ann
promised never to be guilty of playing another trick upon
travelers; but Katy was firm in her purpose not to supply her
with any more candy. She did not dare to resent Katy's
interference, for the terrors of the lock-up were still in her
mind, and she did not know but that Katy might have her arrested
and punished for what she had done, if she attempted to retaliate
upon her.
Katy was shocked at the wickedness of her companion; and, as they
walked home together she tried to make her see the enormity of
her offense, and give her some better views of her duty to her
fellow-beings. Ann heard her in silence and with humility, and
the little moralist hoped the event would result in good to her.
Having recorded the steps by which Katy had carried forward her
now flourishing trade, from the dawn of the idea up to the height
of its prosperity, we may pass over a year with only a brief note
of its principal incidents.
My young readers may have supposed that Katy and her mother had
gathered a great deal of money in the candy trade. It was not so,
for as the business increased, and Katy's labors as a saleswoman
were withdrawn, the expenses increased, and the profits were
proportionally less. And then, neither Mrs. Redburn nor her
daughter had a faculty for saving up much money; so that, though
they made considerable, their prosperity permitted new demands
to be made upon the purse. They hired two more rooms; they
replaced the clothing and furniture which had been sacrificed
under the pressure of actual want, and they lived better than
they had lived before; and Mrs. Redburn had availed herself of
the services of a distinguished physician, whose attendance had
cost a large sum. It is true they lived very well, much better
than people in their circumstances ought to have lived.
Therefore, notwithstanding their prosperity, they had saved but a
small sum from the proceeds of the year's business. They were not
rich; they were simply in comfortable circumstances, which,
considering their situation when Katy commenced business, was
quite enough to render them very thankful to the Giver of all
good for the rich blessings He had bestowed upon them.
These were not all temporal blessings; if they had been, their
success would only have been partial and temporary, their
prosperity only an outward seeming, which, in the truest and
highest sense, can hardly be called prosperity; no more than if a
man should gain a thousand dollars worth of land, and lose a
thousand dollars worth of stocks or merchandise. Both Katy and
her mother, while they were gathering the treasures of this
world, were also "laying up treasures in heaven, where neither
moth nor rust doth corrupt." Want had taught them its hard
lessons, and they had come out of the fiery furnace of affliction
the wiser and the better for the severe ordeal. The mother's
foolish pride had been rebuked, the daughter's true pride had
been encouraged. They had learned that faith and patience are
real supports in the hour of trial. The perilous life in the
streets which Katy had led for a time, exposed her to a thousand
temptations; and she and her mother thanked God that they had
made her stronger and truer, as temptation resisted always makes
the soul. That year of experience had given Katy a character; it
expanded her views of life, and placed her in a situation where
she was early called upon to decide between the right and the
wrong; when she was required to select her path for life. She had
chosen the good way, as Ann Grippen had chosen the evil way.
I do not mean to say her character was formed, or that having
chosen to be good, she could not afterwards be evil. But the
great experiences of life which generally come in more mature
years, had been forced upon her while still a child; and nobly
and truly had she taken up and borne the burden imposed upon her.
As a child she had done the duties of the full-grown woman, and
she had done them well. She had been faithful to herself.
Providence kindly ordains that the child shall serve a long
apprenticeship before it is called upon to think and act for
itself. Katy had anticipated the period of maturity, and with the
untried soul of a child, had been compelled to grapple with its
duties and its temptations. As her opportunities to be good and
do good were increased, so was her liability to do wrong. She had
her faults, great, grave faults, but she was truly endeavoring to
overcome them.
Tommy had returned from his voyage to Liverpool, and joyous was
the meeting between Katy and her sailor friend. It took him all
the evenings for a week to tell the story of his voyage, to which
Mrs. Redburn and her daughter listened with much satisfaction. He
remained at home two months, and then departed on a voyage to the
East Indies.
Master Simon Sneed, after Katy's attempt to serve him, did not
tell her many more large stories about himself, for she
understood him now, and knew that he was not half so great a man
as he pretended to be. In the spring he obtained a situation in a
small retail store where there was not a very wide field for the
exercise of his splendid abilities. He had been idle all winter,
and when he lamented his misfortunes to Katy, she always asked
why he did not sell candy. Once she suggested that he should
learn a trade, to which Master Simon always replied, that he was
born to be a gentleman, and would never voluntarily demean
himself by pursuing a degrading occupation. He was above being a
mechanic, and he would never soil his hands with dirty work. Katy
began to think he was really a fool. She could scarcely think him
"poor and proud"; he was only poor and foolish.
At the close of Katy's first year in trade, a great misfortune
befell her in the loss of Mrs. Colvin, her able assistant in the
manufacturing department of the business. A worthy man, who owned
a little farm in the country, tempted her with an offer of
marriage, and her conscience (I suppose) would not let her refuse
it. Katy, though she was a woman, so far as the duties and
responsibilities of life were concerned, was still a child in her
feelings and affections, and cried bitterly when they parted. The
good woman was scarcely less affected, and made Katy and her
mother promise an early visit to her farm.
Katy's sorrow at parting with her beloved friend was not the
only, nor perhaps, the most important, result of Mrs. Colvin's
departure, for they were deprived of the assistance of the chief
candy-puller. Katy tried to secure another woman for this labor,
but could not find a person who would serve her in this capacity.
After a vain search, Mrs. Redburn thought she was able to do the
work herself, for her health seemed to be pretty well
established. Perhaps, she reasoned, it was quite as well that
Mrs. Colvin had gone, for if she could pull the candy herself, it
would save from two to three dollars a week.
Katy would not consent that she should do it alone, but agreed to
divide the labor between them. The quantity manufactured every
day was so great that the toil of making it fell heavily upon
them; but as Mrs. Redburn did not complain, Katy was too proud to
do so though her wrists and shoulders pained her severely every
night after the work was done.
This toil weighed heavily on Katy's rather feeble constitution;
but all her mother could say would not induce her to abandon the
work. For a month they got along tolerably well, and, perhaps, no
evil consequences would have followed this hard labor, if
everything else had gone well with Katy. The girls who sold the
candy had for some time caused her considerable trouble and
anxiety. Very often they lost their money, or pretended to do so,
and three or four of them had resorted to Ann Grippen's plan of
playing "trick upon travelers." She had to discharge a great
many, and to accept the services of those whom she did not know,
and who, by various means, contrived to cheat her out of the
money received from the sales of the candy. These things annoyed
her very much, and she cast about her for a remedy.
One day, three girls, each of whom had been supplied with half a
dollar's worth of candy, did not appear to account for the
proceeds. Here was a loss of a dollar in one day. Such things as
these are the common trials of business; but Katy who was so
scrupulously honest and just herself, was severely tried by them.
It was not the loss of the money only, but the dishonesty of the
girls that annoyed her.
"What shall be done, mother?" said she, anxiously, when the loss
was understood to be actual. "I can't find these girls. I don't
even know their names."
"Probably, if you did find them, you could not obtain any
"I went to see one girl's mother the other day, you know, and she
drove me out of her house, and called me vile names."
"I was thinking of a plan," continued Mrs. Redburn, "though I
don't know as it would work well."
"Anything would work better than this being constantly cheated;
for it is really worse for the girls than it is for us. I have
often felt that those who cheat us are the real sufferers. I
would a good deal rather be cheated than cheat myself."
"You are right, Katy; and that is a Christian view of the
subject. I suppose we are in duty bound to keep these girls as
honest as we can."
"What is your plan, mother?" asked Katy.
"We will sell them the candy, instead of employing them to sell
it for us."
"But they won't pay us."
"Let them pay in advance. We will sell them the candy at eight
cents a dozen. Any girl who wants two dozen sticks, must bring
sixteen cents."
"I don't believe we can find any customers."
"We can try it. For a time, probably, the sales will be less."
"Very well, mother, we will try it; for I think it would be
better to keep them honest, even if we don't sell more than half
so much."
When the girls appeared the next morning to receive their stock,
it was announced to them that the business would thereafter be
conducted on a different basis; that they must pay for their
candy before they got it, and thus become independent merchants
themselves. Most of them were unable to comply with the terms,
and begged hard to be trusted one day more. Katy was firm, for
she saw that they would be more likely to be dishonest that day,
to revenge themselves for the working of the new system.
The girls were not all dishonest, or even a majority of them, but
the plan must be applied to all. Most of them went home,
therefore, and shortly returned with money enough to buy one or
two dozen sticks. As Mrs. Redburn had predicted, the effect of
the adoption of the new plan was unfavorable for a few days. The
obstinate ones would not buy, hoping to make the wholesale dealer
go back to the old plan. After a week or two, however, they began
to come back, one by one, and the trade rather increased than
diminished; for many of the young merchants, having the
responsibility of selling out all the stock imposed upon them,
used greater exertion than before, and strong efforts almost
always produced some success.
Thus the business went on very prosperously though Mrs. Redburn
and Katy were obliged to work very hard--so hard that the former
began to experience a return of her old complaint. The
affectionate daughter was frightened when she first mentioned the
fact, and begged her not to work any more.
"What shall I do, Katy?" asked she, with a smile.
"Let me make the candy," replied Katy. "I am strong enough."
"No, Katy, you are not. I am afraid you are injuring yourself
"I am sure I am not. But I can't bear to think of your being sick
"We must look out for our health, Katy; that ought to be the
first of our earthly considerations."
"We ought, indeed, mother; so, if you please, I shall not let you
pull any more candy."
"Shall I save my own health at the expense of yours?"
"I shall get along very well. I feel very strong."
"You are not very strong; I have reproached myself a great many
times for letting you do so much as you have. I have felt the
pain for a fortnight, and though I greatly fear I shall have a
return of my complaint, I cannot let you do all this work. We are
neither of us fit to perform such hard labor and both of us must
be relieved from it. I shall go out to-morrow, and make a
business of finding a person to do this work for us."
Mrs. Redburn did try, but she tried in vain. It was odd, queer
strange work, as the women called it, and they didn't want to do
anything of the kind. Katy proposed that they should employ a
man; and when they finally found one, he was a stupid fellow, and
they much preferred to do the work themselves, to seeing him daub
the house all over with the candy, and leave it half done.
They persevered, however, in their efforts to find a person, and
after trying half a dozen, who could not or would not do the
work, they gave it up in despair. But not long were they
permitted to struggle with the severe toil which their
circumstances imposed upon them; for on the night before
Christmas, when a large demand for candy was anticipated, and
both of them had worked very hard, Mrs. Redburn fainted and fell
upon the floor. It was in this manner that she had been taken at
the commencement of her former long sickness, and to Katy the
future looked dark and gloomy. But she did not give up. She
applied herself, with all her energies, to the restoration of her
mother; and when she was partially conscious, she attempted to
conduct her to the bed. The poor woman's strength was all gone,
and Katy was obliged to call in Mrs. Howard to assist her.
Mrs. Redburn suffered the most severe and racking pains through
the night, and at about twelve o'clock, Katy went to Mr. Sneed's
house, and calling up Simon, begged him to go for a doctor. But
the physician's art seemed powerless to soothe her. All night
long the devoted daughter, like an angel of mercy, hovered around
the bed, and did all he could in vain attempts to ease the
sufferer's pain.
Poor Katy! The sun of prosperity had set, and the night of
adversity was coming on.
The morning sun rose clear and bright, casting a flood of light
into the chamber of the sick mother, watched over by the beloved
child. It was Christmas, and all over the Christian world arose
paeans of praise for the birth of the Saviour. The sufferer was
conscious of the fact, and a sweet smile played upon her lips, as
she thought of Jesus--that he had lived and died for her. Pain,
that could rack the bones and triumph over the weak body, was
powerless to subdue the loving, trusting spirit, that reposed
gently on Him who has invited the weary to a present and an
eternal rest.
"Katy," said Mrs. Redburn, in a faint whisper.
"I am here, mother," replied she, bending over her and
endeavoring to anticipate her unspoken desire.
"Is the hymn book on the table?"
"Here it is, mother."
"Won't you read me a hymn?"
"What shall I read?" asked Katy, who could with difficulty keep
back the flood of tears that rose up from her heart.
" `Come, said Jesus' sacred voice.' "
Katy opened the book to the beautiful hymn commencing with this
line, and in a voice broken by the emotion she could not wholly
control, she read it through. The smile that played on her
mother's face showed how deep and pure was the consolation she
derived from the touching poetry. She could smile while racking
pains tortured her frame, while her frail body seemed hardly to
retain its hold upon mortality. How blessed the hope that pours
its heavenly balm into the wounds of the sufferer!
Poor Katy was painfully impressed by the appearance and conduct
of her mother. She had never before seen her so calm and resigned
to those dreadful sufferings. She had heard her complain and
murmur at her hard lot, and wonder why she should be thus sorely
afflicted. She feared that some appalling event, which she dared
not define and call by its name, was about to happen. She dared
not think of the future, and she wondered that her mother could
be so calm while she endured so much.
"Katy," said Mrs. Redburn, after the long silence that followed
the reading of the hymn, "I feel very weak and ill. Take my
"You are burning up with fever!" exclaimed Katy, as she clasped
the hand, and felt the burning, throbbing brow of her mother.
"I am; but do not be alarmed, Katy. Can you be very calm?"
"I will try."
"For I feel very sick, but I am very happy. I can almost believe
that the triumph of faith has already begun in my soul. The world
looks very dim to me."
"Nay, mother, don't say so."
"I only mean that as heaven seems nearer, my hold upon earth is
less strong. You must be very resolute, my child, for I feel as
though the sands of life were fast ebbing out; and that in a few
hours more I shall be `where the wicked cease from troubling, and
the weary are at rest.' If it were not for leaving you, Katy, I
could wish to bid farewell to earth, and go up to my eternal
home, even on this bright, beautiful Christmas day."
"O mother!" sobbed Katy, unable any longer to restrain the
expression of her emotion.
"Do not weep, my child; I may be mistaken; yet I feel as though
God was about to end my sufferings on earth, and I am willing to
"O, no, mother! It cannot be!" exclaimed Katy, gazing earnestly,
through her tearful eyes, upon the pale but flushed cheek of the
patient sufferer.
"I only wish to prepare you for the worst. I may get well; and
for your sake, I have prayed that I may. And, Katy, I have never
before felt prepared to leave this world, full of trial and
sorrow as it has been for me. Whatever of woe, and want, and
disappointment it has been my lot to confront, has been a
blessing in disguise. I feel like a new creature. I feel
reconciled to live or die, as God ordains."
"Do not look on the dark side, mother," sobbed Katy.
"Nay, child, I am looking on the bright side, "returned Mrs.
Redburn, faintly "Everything looks bright to me now. Life looks
bright, and I feel that I could be happy for many years with you,
for you have been a good daughter. Death looks bright, for it is
the portal of the temple eternal in the heavens, where is joy
unspeakable. I am too weak to talk more, Katy; you may read me a
chapter from the New Testament."
The devoted daughter obeyed this request, and she had scarcely
finished the chapter before the girls came for their candy. She
was unwilling to leave her mother alone even for a minute; so she
sent one of them over to request the attendance of Mrs. Howard,
and the good woman took her place by the side of the sufferer.
Katy, scarcely conscious what she was doing --for her heart was
with her mother,--supplied each girl with her stock of candy, and
received the money for it.
"You need not come to-morrow," she said to them, as they were
"Not come!" exclaimed several. "What shall we do for candy?"
"We cannot make any now; my mother is very sick."
"I get my living by selling candy," said one of them. "I shan't
have anything to pay my board if I can't sell candy."
"Poor Mary! I am sorry for you."
This girl was an orphan whose mother had recently died, and she
had taken up the business of selling candy, which enabled her to
pay fifty cents a week for her board, at the house of a poor
widow. Katy knew her history, and felt very sad as she thought of
her being deprived of the means of support.
"I don't know what I shall do," sighed Mary.
"I have to take care of my mother now, and shall not have time to
make candy," said Katy.
"Do you mean to give up for good?" asked one of them.
"I don't know."
This question suggested some painful reflections to Katy. If they
stopped making candy, she and her mother, as well as orphan Mary,
would be deprived of the means of support. She trembled as she
thought of the future, even when she looked forward only a few
weeks. There was not more than ten dollars in the house, for they
had but a short time before paid for their winter's coal, and at
considerable expense largely replenished their wardrobes. The
rent would be due in a week, and it would require more than half
they had to pay it.
Katy was appalled as she thought of the low state of their purse,
and dreaded lest some fearful calamity might again overtake them.
It was plain to her that she could not give up her business, even
for a week, without the danger of being again reduced to actual
want. She therefore reversed her decision, and told the girls
they might come as usual the next day.
When they had gone she shed a few bitter tears at the necessity
which the circumstances imposed upon her of working while her
heart revolted at the idea of being anywhere but at the bedside
of her sick mother. Then she lamented that they had not dispensed
with many articles of luxury while they had plenty of money, and
saved more of it for such a sad time as the present. But it was
of no use to repine; she had only to make the best of her
Amid all these discouragements came a bright ray of sunshine--the
brightest that could possibly have shone on the pathway of the
weeping daughter.
Early in the forenoon came the physician who carefully examined
his patient, speaking cheerfully and kindly to her all the while.
The sufferer watched his expression very narrowly, as he bent
over her and questioned her in regard to her pains. He looked
very serious, which Mrs. Redburn interpreted as unfavorable to
her recovery, not considering that he was engaged in profound
thought, and therefore his countenance would naturally wear an
earnest look. Presently she sent Katy to get her some drink, not
because she wanted it, but to procure her absence for a short
"Do you think I shall get well?" asked Mrs. Redburn, as soon as
the door closed behind Katy.
"A person who is very sick, is of course, always in danger, which
may be more or less imminent," replied the doctor, with
professional indirectness.
"I beg of you, doctor, do not conceal from me my true situation."
"I cannot foresee the result, my good woman."
"Do you think there is any hope for me?"
"Certainly there is."
"Tell me, I implore you, what you think of my case," pleaded the
sufferer, in feeble tones. "I felt this morning that my end was
very near."
"O, no; it is not so bad as that. I should say you had as many as
five chances in ten to be on your feet in a fortnight."
"Do you think so?"
"I do not regard your case as a critical one."
"I wish you had told me so last night. It would have saved my
poor child a very bitter pang."
"I was not aware that you thought yourself alarmingly sick, or I
certainly should; for such an opinion on your part would do more
to bring about a fatal result than could be counteracted by the
most skilful treatment. A physician does not hold the issues of
life and death; he can only assist nature, as the patient may by
a cheerful view of his case. This is not your old complaint; you
have taken cold, and have considerable fever; but I think it is a
very hopeful case."
The return of Katy interrupted the conversation; but the doctor's
opinion was immediately imparted to her, and it sent a thrill of
joy to her heart.
"I was low-spirited this morning, Katy," said Mrs. Redburn, when
the physician had gone. "I really felt as though my end was
rapidly approaching. I am sorry I mentioned my thoughts to you."
"It was all for the best, I suppose," replied Katy.
But Mrs. Redburn was very sick; and even now the disease might
have a fatal termination. The best of care would be required to
restore her to health, and Katy was very anxious. Her mother was
still suffering the most acute pain.
The doctor had left a prescription, and Katy was again obliged to
call in Mrs. Howard while she went to the apothecary's to procure
it; but the good woman declared she was glad to come, and would
bring her work and stay all the forenoon. The medicine, when
obtained, to some extent relieved the sufferer's pain.
As her presence was not required in the chamber, Katy went
down-stairs to what she called the candy room. She had an hour or
two to spare, and she put on the kettle with the intention of
making a part of the next day's candy. She was nearly worn out by
watching and anxiety, and not fit to perform such hard work; but
weak and weary as she felt, her spirit was still earnest, and she
resolutely commenced her labors.
At noon she had made half the quantity required. Mrs. Howard was
then obliged to go home, and attend to her own family, for she
had two children besides Tommy, who had not yet returned from the
East Indies. Mrs. Redburn was very restless during the afternoon,
and could not be left alone for more than a short time at once.
Mrs. Howard had promised to come again in the evening, and make
the rest of the candy; but Charley came home from school quite
sick, seemingly threatened with the scarlet fever, so that she
could not keep her promise. Mrs. Sneed, however, dropped in, and
consented to remain for two hours, which enabled Katy to make the
rest of the candy.
By this time the poor girl was completely worn out. Her resolute
will, even, could no longer impart its strength to the body. Her
mother worried sadly about her, and finally induced her to lie
down on the bed by her side, on condition that she should be
awakened in an hour. In this manner she obtained a few hours'
sleep during the night; but these severe labors were a fearful
task to be imposed upon a mere child.
The next day Mrs. Redburn, who could not fail to observe Katy's
pale face and sunken eye, fretted so much about her that she was
obliged to promise she would not attempt to make any more candy.
Mrs. Howard's son was still very sick, so that she was unable to
render much assistance. The rest of the neighbors, though kindly
disposed, had their own families to care for, and could do very
little for others.
With what slight aid her friends could afford, Katy struggled
through a week, when Dr. Flynch appeared, and demanded the rent.
There was but little more than money enough left to pay it, but
Katy would not ask him for any indulgence, and paid him in full.
In a few days more the purse was empty. Katy's most dreaded hour
had come. She had no money, and almost every day some new thing
was required for her mother. But this time she had friends, and
she determined to use them, as all true friends wish to be used
in the day of sorrow and trial. After considerable debate with
herself, she decided to apply to Mrs. Gordon for a loan of twenty
dollars. She was still poor and proud, and she could not endure
the thought of asking a loan, which might be regarded as a gift,
or which, by her own inability to pay it, might virtually become
such; therefore she proposed to present her father's silver watch
as security for the payment of the debt.
Katy was not at all pleased with the mission which her duty
seemed to impose upon her. Again she felt the crushing weight of
poverty, and pride rose up to throw obstacles in her path. She
was a child of twelve, and to ask a loan of twenty dollars,
though she offered sufficient security for the payment of the
debt, seemed like demanding a great deal of her friends--like
inviting them to repose a vast amount of confidence in her
ability and honesty. They would not want the watch; it would be
of no value to them; and the more she considered the matter, the
more like an act of charity appeared the favor she was about to
More than once on her way to Temple Street did she stop short,
resolved to get the money of some other person--the grocer, Mr.
Sneed, or even of a pawnbroker; but as often she rebuked the
pride that tormented her like a demon, and went forward again.
She stood some time at Mrs. Gordon's door before she had the
resolution to ring the bell.
"What right have I to be so proud?" said she, grasping the bell
handle. "I must get this money, or my mother may suffer."
She rang with a force that must have astonished Michael, and led
him to think some extraordinary character had arrived; for he ran
to the door at full speed, and burst out into a violent fit of
laughter, when he saw no one but the little candy merchant.
"Good morning, to you, Katy. Are you nervous this morning?" said
"Good morning, Michael. I am not very nervous."
"I thought you would pull down the bell," he added,
"I didn't mean to, Michael; I hope you will excuse me if I did
any harm."
"Not a bit of harm; but you're looking as sober as a deacon. What
ails you, Katy?"
"I feel very sad, Michael; for my mother is very sick, and I
don't know as she will ever get well."
"Indeed? I'm sorry to hear that of her;" and Michael, whatever he
felt, looked very much concerned about Mrs. Redburn's health.
"Is Mrs. Gordon at home?"
"She isn't."
"Is Miss Grace?"
"Neither of them; they went to Baltimore ten days ago but I am
expecting them back every day."
Katy's heart sank within her; for now that Mrs. Gordon was not at
hand, she did not feel like asking any other person; and if the
case had not been urgent, she would have been satisfied to return
home, and regard the lady's absence as a sufficient excuse for
not procuring the money.
"You want to see her very much?" asked Michael.
"Very much, indeed."
"Can I be of any service to you?"
"No, Michael."
"Perhaps I can, Katy."
"No, I'm much obliged to you."
"If it's anything in the house you want, I can get it for you."
"No, I must see Mrs. Gordon."
"If it's any nice preserve or jelly you want just say the word,
and I'll bring it to you at once."
"I do not want anything of that kind. Do you think Mrs. Gordon
will return by to-morrow?"
"I thought she would be here yesterday, and she may come
"Very well; I will, perhaps, call again to-morrow," and she
turned to leave.
"I'll tell Mrs. Gordon you came. Stop a minute, Katy. Won't you
tell me what you want?"
"I would rather not, Michael; but I will come again to-morrow."
"See here, Katy; maybe you're short of money. If you are, I have
a matter of three hundred dollars in the Savings Bank; and you
may be sure you shall have every cent of it if you want it."
This was a very liberal offer, though it is probable he did not
think she would want any considerable portion of it, or that she
could even comprehend the meaning of so large a sum. Katy was
sorely tempted to negotiate with him for the loan but she was not
sure that it would be proper to borrow money of the servant, and
perhaps Mrs. Gordon would not like it.
"I thank you, Michael; you are very kind, but I think I would
rather see Mrs. Gordon."
"I have a matter of five or six dollars in my pocket now; and it
that'll be of any service to you, take it and welcome."
Katy stopped to think. A few dollars would be all that she needed
before the return of Mrs. Gordon; and yet she did not feel like
accepting it. What would the lady say on her return, when told
that she had borrowed money of her servant? Yet the servant had a
kind heart, and really desired to serve her. Was it not pride
that prevented her from accepting his offer? Did she not feel too
proud to place herself under obligations to the servant? She felt
rebuked at her presumption; for what right had she to make such
distinctions? If she had been a lady, like Mrs. Gordon, she might
have been excusable for cherishing such pride; but she was a poor
girl; she was actually in want.
"Michael, you are so good, that I will tell you my story," said
she, conquering her repugnance.
"Just come in the house, then;" and he led her into the
sitting-room; being, in the absence of the mistress, the lord and
master of the mansion, and feeling quite at home in that
In a few words she explained to him her situation, though her
rebellious pride caused her to paint the picture in somewhat
brighter colors than the truth would justify. She stated her
intention to borrow twenty dollars of Mrs. Gordon, and offer her
the watch as security, at the same time exhibiting the cherished
"Now Michael, if you will lend me three dollars till Mrs. Gordon
returns, I will pay you then, for I know she will let me have the
money; or at least let me have enough to pay you," continued she,
when she had finished her narrative.
"Indeed I will, Katy!" exclaimed he, promptly pulling out his
wallet. "And if you will come at this time to-morrow, you shall
have the whole twenty dollars."
"Thank you, Michael."
"There's six dollars; take it, Katy, and my blessing with it."
"Only three dollars, Michael," replied Katy, firmly.
Michael insisted, but all his persuasion would not induce her to
accept more than the sum she had mentioned, and he was
reluctantly compelled to yield the point.
"Here is the watch, Michael; you shall keep that till I pay you."
"Is it me!" exclaimed he, springing to his feet, with an
expression very like indignation on his countenance. "Sure, you
don't think I'd take the watch."
"Why not you as well as Mrs. Gordon?" asked Katy.
"She didn't take it," replied Michael triumphantly. "You couldn't
make her take it, if you try a month. Don't I know Mrs. Gordon?"
"But please to take it; I should feel much better if you would."
"Bad luck to me if I do! I wouldn't take it to save my neck from
the gallows. Where's my Irish heart? Did I leave it at home, or
did I bring it with me to America?"
"If you will not take it, Michael----
"I won't."
"If you won't, I will say no more about it," replied Katy, as she
returned the watch to her pocket. "You have got a very kind
heart, and I shall never forget you as long as I live."
Katy, after glancing at the portrait of the roguish lady that
hung in the room, took leave of Michael, and hastened home. On
her way, she could not banish the generous servant from her mind.
She could not understand why he should be so much interested in
her as to offer the use of all he had; and she was obliged to
attribute it all to the impulses of a kind heart. If she had been
a little older, she might have concluded that the old maxim,
slightly altered would explain the reason: "Like mistress, like
man," that the atmosphere of kindness and charity that pervaded
the house had inspired even the servants.
"Where have you been, Katy?" asked Mrs. Redburn, as she entered
the sick chamber, and Mrs. Sneed hastened home.
"I have been to Mrs. Gordon."
"What for?"
Katy did not like to tell. She knew it would make her mother feel
very unhappy to know that she had borrowed money of Mrs. Gordon's
"Oh, I went up to see her," replied Katy.
"No matter, if you don't like to tell me," faintly replied Mrs.
"I will tell you, mother," answered Katy, stung by the gentle
rebuke contained in her mother's words.
"I suppose our money is all gone," sighed the sick woman.
"No, mother; see here! I have three dollars," and Katy pulled out
her porte-monnaie, anxious to save her even a moment of
But in taking out the money she exhibited the watch also, which
at once excited Mrs. Redburn's curiosity.
"What have you been doing with that, Katy?" she asked. "Ah, I
fear I was right. We have no money! Our business is gone! Alas,
we have nothing to hope for!"
"O, no, mother, it is not half so bad as that!" exclaimed Katy.
"I went up to Mrs. Gordon for the purpose of borrowing twenty
dollars of her; I didn't want it to look like charity, so I was
going to ask her to keep the watch till it was paid. That's all,
"And she refused?"
"No; she was not at home."
"But your money is not all gone?"
Katy wanted to say it was not, but her conscience would not let
her practise deception. She had the three dollars which she had
just borrowed of Michael, and that was not all gone. But this was
not the question her mother asked, and it would be a lie to say
the money was not all gone, when she fully understood the meaning
of the question. Perhaps it was for her mother's good to deceive
her; but she had been taught to feel that she had no right to do
evil that good might follow.
"It was all gone, but I borrowed three dollars," she replied,
after a little hesitation.
"Of whom?"
"Of Michael."
"Who's he?"
"Mrs. Gordon's man.
"O Katy! How could you do so?" sighed Mrs. Redburn.
"I couldn't help it, mother. He would make me take it;" and she
gave all the particulars of her interview with Michael and
reviewed the considerations which had induced her to accept the
"Perhaps you are right, Katy. My pride would not have let me
borrow of a servant; but it is wicked for me to cherish such a
pride. I try very hard to banish it."
"Don't talk any more now, mother. We are too poor to be too proud
to accept a favor of one who is in a humble station." replied
"I don't know what will become of us," said Mrs. Redburn, as she
turned her head away to hide the tears that flooded her eyes.
Katy took up the Bible that lay by the bedside, and turning to
the twenty-third psalm, she read, "The Lord is my Shepherd; I
shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he
leadeth me beside the still waters."
"Go on, Katy; those words are real comfort," said Mrs. Redburn,
drying her tears. "I know it is wicked for me to repine."
Katy read the whole psalm, and followed it with others, which
produced a healing influence upon her mother's mind, and she
seemed to forget that the purse was empty, and that they had
placed themselves under obligations to a servant.
The sufferer rested much better than usual that night, and Katy
was permitted to sleep the greater part of the time--a boon which
her exhausted frame very much needed. About ten o'clock in the
forenoon, Michael paid her a visit, to inform her that Mrs.
Gordon had just arrived: and that, when he mentioned her case,
she had sent him down to request her immediate attendance and
that his mistress would have come herself, only she was so much
fatigued by her journey.
Katy could not leave then, for she had no one to stay with her
mother; but Mrs. Sneed could come in an hour. Michael hastened
home with the intelligence that Mrs. Redburn was better, and Katy
soon followed him.
On her arrival at Temple Street, Katy was promptly admitted by
Michael, and shown in the sitting-room, where Mrs. Gordon and
Grace were waiting for her.
"I was very sorry to hear that your mother is sick, Katy," said
the former; "and I should have paid you a visit, instead of
sending for you, if I had not been so much exhausted by my
journey from Baltimore."
"You are very kind, ma'am."
"Did Dr. Flynch call upon you at the first of the month?"
"Yes, ma'am; and we paid the rent as usual," replied Katy.
"I am sorry you did so, Katy; you should have told him you were
not in a condition to pay the rent."
"I couldn't tell him so, he is so cold and cruel."
"I think you misjudge him, for he has a really kind heart, and
would not have distressed you for all the world. Besides, I told
him he need not collect your rent any time when you did not feel
ready to pay it. I hope he gave you no trouble?"
"No, ma'am; I didn't give him a chance, for I paid him as soon as
he demanded it; though it took nearly all the money we had. I
hope you will excuse me, ma'am, but I haven't liked him since the
trouble we had a year ago, when he accused my dear mother of
telling a lie."
"Perhaps he was hasty."
"I forgive him, ma'am; but I can't help thinking he is a very
wicked man," answered Katy, with considerable emphasis.
"I hope not so bad as that; for I am sure, if you had told him it
was not convenient for you to pay the rent, he would not have
insisted. But you want some assistance Katy?"
"Yes, ma'am; that is, I want to borrow some money," replied Katy,
blushing deeply.
"That's just like you," interposed Grace, laughing. "I suppose
you will want to give your note this time."
"I don't care about giving a note, but I mean to pay the money
back again, every cent of it."
"And the interest too, I suppose?"
"Yes," said Katy, though she had not a very clear idea of the
value of money, as an article of merchandise.
"Don't distress her, Grace; you forget that her mother is very
sick, and she cannot feel like listening to your pleasantries,"
said Mrs. Gordon.
"Forgive me, Katy," replied Grace, tenderly.
Katy burst into tears, though she could not exactly tell why. She
was overcome with emotion as the beautiful young lady took her
hand, and looked so sorrowfully in her face. She was not used to
so much kindness, so much sympathy, so much love; for it seemed
as though both Grace and her mother loved her--that their hearts
beat with hers.
"Don t cry, Katy; I am sorry I said a word," pleaded Grace. "I
would not have hurt your feelings for all the world."
"You did not hurt my feelings; you are so kind to me that I could
not help crying. I suppose I am very silly."
"No, you are not, Katy; now dry up your tears, and tell us all
about it," added Mrs. Gordon, in soothing tones. "How long has
your mother been sick?"
"Almost two weeks."
"What ails her?"
"She has got a fever; but she is much better to-day. The doctor
says she hasn't got it very bad; but she has been very sick, I
"Who takes care of her?"
"I do, ma'am."
"You! She must need a great deal of attention. But who takes care
of her at night?"
"I do, ma'am. I have been up a great deal every night."
"Poor child! It is enough to wear you out."
"I wouldn't mind it at all, if I had nothing else to trouble me."
"What other troubles have you?"
"I can't make any candy now, and haven't made any for nearly a
fortnight; so that we have no money coming in. We spent nearly
all we had in buying our winter clothing and fuel. It worries me
very much, for we had plenty of money before mother was taken
"I hope you haven't wanted for anything."
"No, ma'am; for when my purse was empty, I came up here, only
yesterday, to borrow some of you, if you would please to lend it
"Certainly, I will, my child. I am very glad you came."
"Michael would make me tell what I wanted, and then he let me
have three dollars, and offered to let me have as much as I
wanted. I didn't know as you would like it if I borrowed money of
your servant."
"You did just right: and I am glad that Michael has a kind heart.
Now, how much money do you want?"
"I thought I would ask you to lend me twenty dollars; and just as
soon, after mother gets well, as I can gather the money together,
I will pay you--and the interest," she added, glancing at Grace.
"Now, Katy, that is too bad!" exclaimed Grace, catching her by
the hand, while a tear started from her eye. "You know I didn't
mean that."
"I know you didn't; but I don't know much about such things, and
thought likely it was right for us to pay interest, if we
borrowed money."
"I should be very glad to give you twenty dollars, Katy, if you
would only let me; for I am rich, as well as mother, and I
certainly should not think of taking interest."
"We will say no more about that," interrupted Mrs. Gordon. "I
will let you have the money with the greatest pleasure, for I
know you will make good use of it."
"I will, indeed."
"And you must promise me that you will not distress yourself to
pay it again," continued the kind lady, as she took out her
"I will not distress myself, but I will pay it as soon as I can."
"You must not be too proud."
"No, ma'am; but just proud enough."
"Yes, that's it," replied Mrs. Gordon, smiling. "Pride is a very
good thing in its place. It keeps people from being mean and
wicked sometimes."
"That's true pride," added Katy.
"Yes; for there is a false pride, which makes people very silly
and vain; which keeps them from doing their duty very often. You
have none of this kind of pride."
"I hope not."
"Your friend Simon Sneed, whom the mayor spoke to me about,
affords us a very good example of the folly of cherishing false
pride. Where is Simon now?"
"He keeps a store in Washington Street. He is a salesman now, and
I don't think he is so foolish as he was."
"Perhaps the lesson he learned did him good. But I am keeping you
away from your mother, Katy. Who stays with her while you are
"Mrs. Sneed--Simon's mother."
"Then she is a good woman."
"And Simon is very kind; he has done a great many things for me,
and I hope I shall be able to do something for him one of these
"That's right, Katy. Think well of your friends, though others
speak ill of them," said Grace. "Ah, there comes the carriage. I
am going home with you, Katy, to see your mother."
"You are very kind, Miss Grace."
"Here is the money," added Mrs. Gordon, handing her a little roll
of bills.
"Thank you, ma'am," replied Katy, as she placed the money in her
porte-monnaie. "But----"
Here she came to a full stop, and her face was as crimson as a
blush rose, but she took out the silver watch, and approached
Mrs. Gordon.
"What were you going to say, Katy?"
"I brought this watch up," stammered she.
"What for?"
"You know I am a poor girl, my mother is a poor woman, and we
didn't want you to think you were giving us the money, for we are
very proud; that is, my mother is very proud, and so am I;
Here Katy drew a long breath, and came to a full stop again,
unable to say what she wanted to say.
"If you want anything else, Katy, don't hesitate to mention it;
for I will not do anything to mortify your pride, even if it is
unreasonable," said Mrs. Gordon. "I understand you perfectly; the
twenty dollars is not a gift, but a loan."
"Yes, ma'am; but if we should never be able to pay it, then it
would be a gift."
"No, it wouldn't."
"I think so; and so I brought this watch, which you will please
to take as security for the payment of the loan," said Katy, much
confused, as she offered the watch to Mrs. Gordon.
"My dear child, I do not want any security. Your word is just as
good as your bond."
"But I would rather you would take it. My mother is prouder than
I am, for she wasn't always as poor as she is now."
Katy suddenly clapped her hand over her mouth, when she
recollected that this was a forbidden topic.
"Some time you may tell me all about your mother; and I will call
and see her to-morrow, and help you take care of her."
"Please to take the watch. ma'am."
"If you very much desire it, I shall do so, though I cannot take
it as security. Is this the watch you carried to the pawnbroker?"
said Mrs. Gordon as she took the treasure.
"Yes, ma'am. It belonged to my father."
Mrs. Gordon turned over the watch, and looked at it with
considerable interest, as she thought of it as a memento of the
dead, and how highly it must be prized by the poor woman.
"Mercy, what's this!" exclaimed she, starting back, and
staggering towards her chair.
"What is the matter, mother?" cried Grace, running to her side.
"Are you ill?"
"No, Grace; that inscription!" replied Mrs. Gordon, faintly, for
she seemed very deeply moved, and on the point of swooning.
"Bring me a glass of water."
There was no water in the room, but Michael was in the entry, and
was dispatched to procure it. He returned in a moment, and when
Mrs. Gordon had in some measure recovered from the sudden shock
she pointed to the inscription on the back of the watch:--
"M. G.
J. R.
All for the Best."
"What does, it mean, mother? I do not see anything very strange
about that."
"I have seen this watch before," she replied, stopping to think.
"Where did your mother get this watch, Katy?" she asked, as it
occurred to her that she might be arriving at a conclusion too
"It was my father's."
"Where did your father get it? Did you ever hear your mother say?
"Yes, ma'am; her father, who was a rich Liverpool merchant, gave
it to her husband, my father," replied Katy, who felt justified
in revealing what her mother had told her to keep secret.
"Mercy!" gasped Mrs. Gordon, almost overcome by her emotions.
"What is the matter, mother? What has all this to do with you?"
asked Grace, anxiously.
"Come here, Katy, my child," continued Mrs. Gordon, as she drew
the little candy merchant to her side, and warmly embraced her.
"Your mother, Katy, is my sister, I have scarcely a doubt."
"Why, mother! Is it possible?" exclaimed Grace.
"It is even so. Mrs. Redburn, whose name we have often heard
mentioned without thinking it might be the wife of John Redburn,
my father's clerk, is my sister. I had given her up, and have
regarded her as dead for more than ten years. But, Grace, get my
things, and I will go to her at once."
"Is that your portrait, ma'am?" asked Katy, pointing to the
picture of the mischievous lady.
"No, child; that is your mother's portrait."
"I almost knew it."
"It was taken when she was only sixteen years old. She was a gay,
wild girl then. I suppose she is sadly changed now."
The thought completely overcame Mrs. Gordon, and throwing herself
upon a sofa, she wept like a child. She thought of her sister
suffering from poverty and want, while she had been rolling in
opulence and plenty. Grace tried to comfort her, but it was some
time before she was in a condition to enter the carriage which
was waiting at the door.
"What an adventure, mother!" exclaimed Grace, as she seated
herself by the side of Katy; and it was evident she had a vein of
the romantic in her composition.
"Do not talk to me, Grace. My heart is too full for words."
"But I may talk to Katy--may I not?"
"Well, cousin Katy," laughed Grace; "I shall call you cousin,
though you are not really my cousin."
"Not your cousin?" said Katy, a shade of disappointment crossing
her animated features.
"No; for Mrs. Gordon is not really my mother; only my stepmother;
but she is just as good as a real mother, for I never knew any
other. Dear me! how strange all this is! And you will go up and
live with us in Temple Street, and----"
"I can't leave my mother," interrupted Katy.
"You mother shall go, too."
"She is too sick now."
Grace continued to talk as fast as she could, laying out ever so
many plans for the future, till the carriage reached Colvin
Court. I will not follow them into the chamber of the sick woman;
where Mrs. Gordon, by a slow process that did not agitate the
invalid too violently, revealed herself to her sister. The fine
lady of Temple Street had a heart, a warm and true heart, and not
that day, nor that night, nor for a week, did she leave the sick
bed of the sufferer. There, in the midst of her sister's poverty,
she did a sister's offices.
It was three weeks before Mrs. Redburn was in a condition to be
moved to her sister's house; and then she was once more in the
midst of the luxury and splendor of her early life. One day, when
she had improved so much as to be able to bear the fatigue of a
long conversation, Mrs. Gordon, who had thus far declined to
discuss any exciting topics with the invalid proposed to have
everything explained. Each had a very long story to tell; but as
the reader already knows Mrs. Redburn's history, I shall only
briefly narrate that of Mrs. Gordon and the Guthrie family, after
the departure of the former.
Mr. Guthrie, the father of both, died two years after the flight
of Margaret--Mrs. Redburn--when of course there was a large
property to be divided. Diligent search was made for Margaret in
America but her husband had declared to some person in Liverpool
that he had an engagement in Montreal. This place was thoroughly
canvassed, but without success. No trace of the runaways could be
discovered. Agents were sent to various parts of America, and no
tidings of Margaret had ever reached them.
About two year after her father's death, Jane--Mrs. Gordon--had
married a very wealthy gentleman from Baltimore. He was then a
widower with one child--Grace Gordon. She had come to America
with him, and resided in Baltimore till his death, a period of
only two years. Then, having never liked to live in that city,
she had removed to Boston, where she had a few friends. She had
invested her money and resided there, very happily situated, and
with no desire to return to her native land.
Her father's estate had been divided, and the portion which
belonged to Margaret was held in trust for seven years--when the
law presumed she was dead--and was then delivered to her sister,
who was the only remaining heir. Now that she had appeared, it
was promptly paid over to her, and Mrs. Redburn, before poor and
proud, was now rich, and humility never sat more gracefully on
the brow of woman than on hers.
Katy and her mother had entered upon a new life, and in the midst
of luxury and splendor, they could not forget the past nor cease
to thank God for His past and present mercies. Mrs. Gordon used
to declare it was strange she had never thought that Mrs. Redburn
might be her sister; but it was declared that stranger things
than that had happened.
Katy continued to go to school with great regularity, and became
an excellent scholar. She was beloved by all her companions and
Grace, who was married shortly after Katy entered the family,
always regarded her with the affection of a sister, insisting
that she should spend half the time at her house. Mrs. Redburn
was soon completely restored to health. She had a fortune to
manage now, and when Dr. Flynch proposed to collect her rents and
take charge of her affairs, she respectfully declined the offer.
Mrs. Gordon did not like him as well as formerly, for her sister
had opened her eyes in regard to his true character, and she soon
found an opportunity to discharge him.
Having carried Katy through her principal troubles and chronicled
the rise and fall of the candy trade we shall step forward ten
years to take a final look at her and her friends, and then bid
them farewell.
Ten years is a long time--long enough to change the child into a
woman, the little candy merchant into a fine lady. I suppose,
therefore, that my young friends will need to be introduced to
Miss Redburn. There she sits in the pleasant apartment in Temple
Street, where the picture of the mischievous girl still hangs,
though it looks very little like the matron at her side, for whom
it was taken. She is not beautiful enough to be the heroine of a
romance, neither has she done any absurd thing; she has only
supported her mother when she had no one else to care for her.
But Katy is irresistible if she is not pretty. She still looks as
pleasant as a morning in June, and smiles sweetly when any one
speaks to her and when she speaks to any one.
I am sorry I cannot inform my young lady friends how Miss Redburn
was dressed, or how she proposed to dress, at her birthday party,
which was to come off the following week--what silks, what laces
what muslins, and what jewels she was to wear. I can only say
that she was dressed very plainly, and that her garments were
exceedingly becoming; and that she had steadily resisted the
solicitations of sundry French milliners and dressmakers to
exceed her usual simplicity at the party--and I cordially command
her example to all young ladies.
While Miss Redburn sat at the window, the doorbell rang with
great violence; and Michael --yes, Michael--he is still there, a
veteran in the service of Mrs. Gordon, and fully believing that
Katy is an angel--Michael hastened to admit Grace. She is a
little older than when we saw her last, but she is the same
Grace. She enters the room, kisses Katy with as much zeal as
though she had not seen her for months, though they had met the
day before. She had scarcely saluted her cousin before a little
fat man of six came tumbling into the room, for he had not been
able to keep up with his mother.
"Come, aunty," said little Tommy, who persisted in calling her by
this title, as he rolled up to Miss Redburn, who gave him a
hearty kiss--"come, aunty, I want you to come right down into the
kitchen, and make me a lot of molatheth candy."
"Not now, Tommy"--would you believe it, reader? that little boy's
name is Thomas Howard Parker--"not now, Tommy. I came to tell
you, Katy, that the King of the Billows has been telegraphed."
"Has she?" exclaimed Katy, a deep blush suffusing her cheek.
"Yes; and you must go right down to the wharf, or we shall not be
in season to see Captain Howard, who is coming up in a pilot
Miss Redburn hastened to put on her things, and she and Mrs.
Parker seated themselves in the carriage that waited them.
Of course, you know Captain Howard, reader? He has followed the
sea only eleven years; and though but twenty-five years old, he
is the commander of a fine clipper, and sails in the Liverpool
line. He is frequently quoted as an example of what patient
perseverance will accomplish; for, with very little aid from
friends, he has worked his way from the forecastle into the
cabin. He is a self-educated man, and has the reputation of being
a thorough sailor and a perfect gentleman.
Pursuant to a little arrangement made between Captain Howard and
Miss Redburn, just as he departed on this voyage, they were both
seen in church on the following Thursday afternoon; and when they
came out, people addressed Katy as Mrs. Howard. But to pass on to
the occasions which she had chosen to call a birthday party,
though it was not exactly that; and as it came immediately after
the church service, some called it a levee.
There are a great many persons in the Gordon mansion, as many as
two hundred, I should think. Of course, I cannot stop to
introduce all of them, but there are a few who deserve this
"Mr. Sneed, I am delighted to see you," said Mrs. Howard, as a
very tall and very slim gentleman, elegantly dressed, approached.
"You do me honor, madam. It is the superlative felicity of my
sublunary existence to congratulate you on this auspicious
occasion," replied Mr. Sneed, as he gently pressed the gloved
hand of the lady.
That sounds just like Master Simon Sneed, only very much
intensified. Simon is a salesman still in a large
establishment--has never risen above that position and probably
never will; for, born to be a gentleman, he feels as much above
his business as his business really is above him.
Simon's father and mother say a pleasant word to the bride, and
pass on. And here comes a great fat woman, whose tongue flies
like the shuttle in a loom. Well, it is the captain's mother.
Since her son has been prosperous, she has had an easy time of
it, and has grown very corpulent.
"Who do you think has come, Katy?" puffed Mrs. Howard.
"I don't know. Who?"
"Mrs. Colvin, that was! Mrs. McCarty, that is."
Some of the very good-natured people laughed, and some of the
very fastidious ones turned up their noses, when they saw Mrs.
McCarty so warmly received by the bride; but she did not care who
laughed or who sneered; she was not too proud to welcome, in the
hour of prosperity and happiness, those who had been her friends
in adversity.
"Mrs. Howard, I congratulate you," said a fat man, who was
puffing and blowing at the heat of the room.
It was an ex-mayor and after he had said a few pleasant words, he
passed on to make room for a hundred more who were waiting to
speak to the bride.
That was a very pleasant party; but as we are opposed to crowded
rooms and late hours, we may as well retire.
The next day the happy couple started upon a bridal tour, and on
their return, Captain Howard sailed for Liverpool, in his fine
ship, with Mrs. Howard as a passenger.
And now my young friend, adieu. If you are poor, don't be too
proud to work at any honest occupation; but be too proud to do
wrong--too proud to degrade yourself in your own eyes, by doing a
mean act; and in this sense you may truly be "Poor and Proud."

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